A young man who fatally chopped his then teenaged girlfriend, Tenicia McAllister, in the presence of his mother and siblings has claimed that “evil forces” were at work when he committed the heinous act nearly two years ago.
This is what presiding Judge Navindra Singh was told moments before Joshua Baveghems pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for his crime.
Baveghems agreed with the State’s contention that on August 13, 2015, using a cutlass, he murdered the former Cummings Lodge Secondary School student at his Diamond, East Bank Demerara home, after accusing her of being unfaithful. State Prosecutor Tamica Clarke, in reading out the facts of the case, related that Baveghems grabbed the young lady by the hair and dragged her to the kitchen before he retrieved the cutlass and chopped her about the body.
Clarke informed the court that all of this was done in the presence of Baveghems’ mother, his brother and sister. The court also heard that in the midst of the chopping, the three family members fled and solicited the assistance of a neighbour. Some time after, Police discovered the young woman’s body lying in the grass outside Baveghems’ residence. According to the post-mortem examination, McAllister had 19 incised wounds.
The State Prosecutor noted that the accused posed a threat to several family members and stressed that one should walk away when faced with domestic violence issues.
The accused, in addressing the court, claimed that “evil forces” affected his judgment and he had no control over his actions.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind; something take me over, I begging you for mercy,” the 21-year-old pleaded.
Justice Singh told him that his remorse seemed genuine, adding that Baveghems would have to live with the fact he killed his loved one which would affect his mind for a long time.
Baveghems now takes anger management classes, attends chapel regularly and he prays and sings, the court was previously told. He was represented by Attorney Kemo Griffith, who had told the court that “love is something we cannot understand”.