Liberia: Williams Family Debunks Statement that the Late Lauvette Williams Owned Pistol Used in Killing 14-r-Old Precious Ireland on Cyber-Ed School Campus

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MONROVIA – The question of how the 16-year-old obtained the 9mm pistol that he used to kill his peer on campus remains the lingering question in the public. His mother, Ms. Josia Saah had told police investigators that it belonged to her late husband, but her late husband’s family has denied her claim and expressed disappointment in her.

“The family wants to make it unequivocally clear that the late Lauvette A. Williams, Sr. was a law abiding and peace-loving man who spent his entire life serving humanity and his church (the Little White Chapel).  At no time did Lauvette own or purchase a gun because he was deeply loved by all who knew him,” the family stated in a press statement.

The contentious gun in question, is a 9mm pistol which Jovanus Turay, an 11th grade student of the Cyber-Ed Christian School of Excellence allegedly used to shoot and kill 14-year-old Precious Ireland on campus at about 7:45 am on April 13.

Jovanus was picked up from campus that morning from the Anti-Robbery Squad of the Liberia National Police. The Police Spokesman, Moses Carter informed FrontPageAfrica on Sunday that Jovanus is still in a safe home undergoing investigation.

While the police say they are still investigating the matter, the family of the man who it is claimed owned the gun prior to his demise believe the kid’s mother, should be held solely responsible for being in possession of the firearm.

The family disclosed that Lauvette died on February 24, 2018.

“This is more than three years ago; Ms. Saah has since moved out of the house where the both of them lived prior to Lauvette’s demise. All of Lauvette’s personal belonging remained in her possession.  Ms. Saah has full responsibility for all of them,” the family stated.

They added, “Assuming without admitting that the gun belonged to Lauvette, Ms. Saah, upon Lauvette’s demise acquired responsibility for all of his personal belongings and should therefore be estopped from dragging a deceased man’s name into a matter that he has no knowledge of.  We consider this an attempt to shift blame to a man that is unable to defend himself because he no longer exists.”

“The family wants to make it unequivocally clear that the late Lauvette A. Williams, Sr. was a law-abiding and peace-loving man who spent his entire life serving humanity and his church.  At no time did Lauvette own or purchase a gun because he was deeply loved by all who knew him.”

– The family of the late Lauvette A. Williams, Sr.

The family expressed disappointment in Ms. Saah’s “attempt to tarnish the reputation of their father, brother, uncle and cousin.   We want to use this opportunity to advise Ms. Saah to cease and desist with immediate effect.  we are prepared to protect our family’s name beyond the grave.

“We regret the untimely death of a young lady and are in sympathy with also of those affected by this tragic event.” 

The family’s statement was signed by Hester Williams & Shirley Williams Awadjie.

Father Expresses Regrets

In a live podcast on the social media from the United States early Thursday morning, Mr. Turay, who is a renowned Liberian movie actor and producer disclosed in tears that the Irelands and Turays are families, but the incident is unfortunate and sad.

“I know that a lot of people are horrified. It’s horrifying disappointing. It’s something that every parent will get terrified about. But I thought to just speak to the hearts of people, our Liberians, parents, children, families, the government, our judiciary every person, every child, adult, a girl or a boy”.

“The boy that caused the demise or death of Precious – that boy has killed a lot of people. He killed her, but he killed me and a lot of people. I want people to understand that Precious is like a child to me. I want people to understand that I didn’t get to know Precious from my son’s school. She’s a family. I want people to understand that that bullet took a lot of lives”.

With tears profusely rolling down his cheek, Mr. Turay regretted the incident involving his son.

He clarified that every child of the Ireland’s family, including Daniel, Aaron, Nathaniel, Hannah are “like my own”, while the deceased parents are like a brother and sister to him.

“I want to express my regret about the incident. I want people to understand that we are sorry about the death of Precious”.

Minor Can Tried as Adult

Atty. Grigsby who said he is stepping aside as Chairman of the National Commission on Small Arms to take up the case as a lawyer and a brother to the deceased mother told FrontPageAfrica in an exclusive interview that though he awaits the report of the police investigation, he would be pushing for trial as an adult.

He expressed disappointment over the statement issued by the school on Tuesday which described the incident and as “accidental”.

“I categorically disagree with the school position on accidental killing. I don’t think the school has any means to establish that. I don’t know the basis of such statement,”Atty. Grigsby said.

He further said, “There are traits of the kid that demonstrate the capacity to demonstrate firearm; obviously his track record will be made public.”

Grigsby dispelled the argument that the perpetrator being a minor cannot be held responsible for his action as he has no appreciation for crime. 

He said, while Section 4.1 Penal Lawprotects children under the age of 18, the Juvenile Law Chapter 11.21A also talks about people between the ages of 16 to 18 as well. So, even though a person below 18 can be considered as a juvenile. 

“Juvenile Procedure Code 11.21A says, if a person is of age 16 and that person commits an act which could be considered a crime committed by an adult, the Juvenile Court can withhold its jurisdiction for a circuit court with proper jurisdiction to look into the matter, to hear that case. So, you cannot out rightly say the person is a minor,” he said.

Grigsby added: “A person at age 16 to a greater extent can be determined to have capacity by a competent court of jurisdiction and where that happens the law provides that person can be prosecuted just how we would have done for an adult.”

FPA Observes Body Examination

On Wednesday, some relatives of the deceased excluding both parents gathered at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home to witness the coroner from the Ministry of Justice and the forensic team of the Liberia National Police examine the remains.

It was observed that the 14-year-old student was shot twice at a very close range (on the left and right). 

A bullet entry and outlet were observed on the right side of her neck. There was also another bullet entry on lower jaw beneath her left ear. This bullet, according to the corona and the forensic team, came out on the right side of her neck, while the bullet that was fired from the right side of her neck did not come out of the body as no other outlet was established on the body. 

The examining team concluded that she died as a result of the shooting.

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