An unfortunate but somewhat expected update to the brutal slaying of Peter King, the former Jamaican trade ambassador. The good news is that a suspect has been arrested following a one-year manhunt. The bad news: The defendant will pander to the island's notorious homophobia and raise a gay panic defense.
Sheldon Pusey has been charged with the March 2006 homicide and has bene denied bail. According to Radio Jamaica, defense attorney Berry Bryan maintains "his client was sent to Mr. King's apartment to ask for a job, was allegedly locked in a room by the trade ambassador, who was making sexual advances. According to Mr. Bryan, there is no evidence that his client robbed the apartment. He insisted that Mr. Pusey was lured to the apartment and forced to defend his honour."
The attorney provides an interesting albeit scientifically questionable claim to The Jamaica Gleaner: "[Berry] said further that Pusey was not a homosexual and there was medical evidence to support that."
According to police reports, Pusey defended "his honour" by slashing Ambassador Peter King's throat, face and chest. King's body was also found completely nude, very similar to the case of a popular Jamaican priest found brutally slain in December. Both cases have the modus operandi of a hook-up or sex date gone wrong. And in both cases, the suspects maintained a gay panic defense. However, the King case is very high profile and the intense manhunt and denial of bail implies the evidence is overwhelming. Hopefully the jury will see past the gay panic defense.
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