Sentencing for mother found guilty of poisoning children postponed to April 9

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The sentencing for Awena Rutherford, 25, who was found guilty, by a 12-member jury, of fatally poisoning her two children was today postponed until April 9 at 13:00hrs after she made a request that the Court be furnished with a probation report.

Awena Rutherford making her way to court yesterday

The jury yesterday unanimously found Rutherford guilty on both counts of manslaughter and she was scheduled to be sentenced today by High Court Judge, Justice Navindra Singh.

After the decision was rendered, Rutherford was heard screaming and she subsequently collapsed on the courtroom floor. 

Represented by Attorney Adrian Thompson, she is accused of giving her children, one-year-old Jabari Codogan and four-year-old Odascia Codogan, 2 halves of one carbon tablet which caused their deaths on March 27, 2014.

During the trial, Rutherford maintained that she thought she was buying cold tablets for them.

“Who would go to the Plaisance Bus Park to buy cold tablets from a man that sells rat poison?” was the question State Prosecutor Tiffini Lyken had put to the 12 member-jury during her closing address at Awena Rutherford’s manslaughter trial on Wednesday.

She also drank two of the same tablets and was hospitalised for several days.

During Wednesday’s hearing before Justice Singh, Jabari Codogan Sr, testified via Skype from Brooklyn, New York that he supported his children even after he separated from Rutherford, and that he communicated with them every day.

He told the jury that he was never told that they were suffering from a cold.

Awena and the children were staying with the defendant’s sister, Monica Sealey and her husband Curt, who both testified that they never noticed the children suffering from any cold symptoms prior to their deaths.   

Rutherford maintained that she never bought rat poison and that the police treated her unfairly.

However, multiple police witnesses maintained that Rutherford repeatedly said she was stressed and had problems and that she indeed gave her children the supposed cold tablets.

Government Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh confirmed that the children died from pesticide poisoning by way of ingesting aluminum phosphide which is commonly known as carbon tablets.

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