Man admits to killing Simone Campbell-Collymore and her cabbie

January 22, 2021

A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty for his role in the murder of Simone Campbell-Collymore, who was killed at the entrance to her Forest Ridge apartment complex on Stanley Terrace, Red Hills, St Andrew, on January 2, 2018.

Winston Walters, the taxi driver taking Campbell-Collymore home, was also murdered.

Wade Blackwood pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

Campbell-Collymore was the wife of businessman Omar 'Best' Collymore, who is among four persons charged with the double murder. A post-mortem examination revealed that Campbell-Collymore was shot 19 times and died from "multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, with injuries to the lung, liver and right kidney". Walters was shot five times and died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The killing was captured on closed-circuit television, one of the factors that nudged Blackwood to plead guilty. Video recordings and still images showed Blackwood approaching the front passenger side of the vehicle and firing into it, court documents from the case revealed.

Campbell-Collymore's mother and sister fought back tears as they walked out of the courtroom moments before the video was being played in court.

Recorded statement

On June 20, 2018, Blackwood detailed his involvement in a caution statement recorded by police investigators in the presence of two justices of the peace. He recounted that on January 1, 2018, two men who he knew asked him if he wanted to join them on a "mission". Blackwood said he declined, but the men insisted. Blackwood said later that day he got what he suggested was a threatening telephone call from one of the men.

"Memba seh you bredda [borrow] man tings an yuh nuh pay fi it yet. So wait 'til me come back a different ting," he quoted the man as saying.

He told investigators that on the day of the killing, the men returned on two motorcycles. He said he got on one of the motorcycles and they drove to the foot of Red Hills.

He said one of the men made a telephone call, then relayed to him that the Toyota Axio motor car in which Campbell-Collymore was travelling was "coming up".

According to Blackwood, they were joined by two other men, also on a motorcycle, and they all drove behind the taxi until it got to the apartment complex.

"[Name redacted] came off his bike and started firing shot in the driver side and me fire in the passenger side," said Blackwood. He told investigators that as he fired into the car, he heard Campbell-Collymore scream as the glass windows shattered around her.

He recalled handing back the murder weapon, a Glock pistol, to his friend and burning the clothes he was wearing.

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