‘My days are empty’ - Slain teen’s mom reflects on anniversary of his murder

March 23, 2023
Kenute Williams Jr
Kenute Williams Jr
Kenute’s parents, Kenute Williams Sr and Carroline were united in grief at his funeral on April 21, 2022.
Kenute’s parents, Kenute Williams Sr and Carroline were united in grief at his funeral on April 21, 2022.

Today marks a year since 16-year-old Kenute Williams Jr was shot and killed along Liguanea Avenue in St Andrew as he walked to school.

The teen was ambushed and robbed by gunmen, who took his cell phone and $1,000 lunch money. The heartless act occurred three days before Kenute's parents, Carroline Robinson and Kenute Sr, were scheduled to get married. Kenute's murder sparked widespread public outcry. Hours after his death, one of the alleged perpetrators was apprehended and taken into custody. He has since been charged with murder and is to appear in court on April 8 for a committal hearing, according to the head of the St Andrew Central Police Division, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth.

However, on Tuesday, Carroline told THE STAR that her soul was "empty" even as she is trying to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.

"The other day one of my nieces went out by the cemetery and took a photo of the tombstone and send it to me and my husband. He saw it first and he was just there sitting and staring at the screen. I asked him what was it and he said nothing but mi know something never right. It was the photo he was looking at, and when I saw it I started to cry same time because everything came back to me," Carroline said. She disclosed that she has struggled to cope with the loss, especially at nights when they had more time to bond.

"Then him [Kenute] would a say, 'mommy good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite'," she continued.

Kenute, a 10th grader at Papine High School in St Andrew, was described as soft, well-mannered and destined for greatness.

"Camy [his nickname] was my world, he was my everything. My days are empty, empty, empty!" said Carroline in between tears.

"Better dem [his killers] did give him a broke hand or a broke foot, or even if him lose one of his eyes, but mi just wah have him. Every day mi ask why dem affi shoot him. Dem get the phone so why dem affi still shoot him?"

Carroline shared that it was routine for Kenute to walk to and from school from their home in Jack's Hill, St Andrew. They normally kept in contact via his cell phone. Carroline said that on the morning he was killed she was busy with wedding arrangements, which resulted in a break from their routine. She recalled becoming extremely worried when an administrator from his school called nearly an hour after he left home.

"When she say this is so-and-so from Papine, I said to myself that 'Camy is not a troubled child and nobody has ever called me to say him do anything bad, so a wah now mek she a call me?' When she said he met in an accident everything inside me shift because mi a say, 'Accident? Camy no tek taxi fi go a school, so wah kinda accident him could a meet inna'?" she recalled. A mad dash to the University Hospital of the West Indies, where Kenute's lifeless body lay, was the scene of her worst nightmare.

"There was no blood or anything on his clothes but a big hole in his chest," Carroline recalled.

While the police continue to search for the other suspect in the teen's murder, Carroline said she was desperate to get a message across to him.

"I would be a hypocrite to say that I am not angry, or wouldn't want them to lose their lives as well. But because I am serving God, I have to just let it go. The only question I have is why they had to shoot him? Why? Whatever justice they should get for the act they have committed, I want that to happen, because the Lord tell us that nothing goes unpunished so they should get punished," she said. Carroline also pleaded for the other perpetrator to turn himself in.

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