Posted on

Mother charged in fiery deaths of toddlers

Mother charged in fiery deaths of toddlers


“She is a wicked woman… They didn’t deserve such a death and we want justice.”{{more}}

These were just some of the sentiments expressed by fuming villagers of Redemption Sharpes as the charred remains of two toddlers were removed from a house in the “Trigger Ridge” area after it was gutted by fire at approximately 12:20 pm on Monday, February 23, 2009.

Dead are three-year-old Kayla Sutherland and one-year-old Jerad Finch. Efforts by villagers to douse the fire proved futile as the inferno proved too powerful to combat.

The children had been left at home alone.

Some neighbours told Searchlight that it was not unusual for Kalliecia Sutherland to leave her children at home alone for long periods of time. One woman, who did not wish to be identified, disclosed: “This is not the first time she doing it. I use to have to go and look after the children sometimes because they were just there alone,” she said.

Even after the smoke cleared, Sutherland was still nowhere to be found. Only the uncle of the both toddlers came to the scene of the fire.

A police report states that the children’s mother, Sutherland, 23, of Owia, left the house on Sunday February 22, 2009, and did not return. SEARCHLIGHT also understands that owner of the house, Jerry Williams, telephoned the children’s mother to come home at around 7 a.m. on Monday, since he was about to leave for work.

Morgue attendants remove the bodies of the two toddlers who died in a fire at Redemption Sharpes Monday, February 23.

A devastated Williams said that when he called Sutherland, she told him that she was close and would be there very soon. Williams added that he placed the house key under some stones in the yard and locked the children inside as he was in a hurry to get to work.

“I just do not know what to do now. I lose everything in the fire and now I have to start from the beginning again,” he lamented.

Villagers described the children as the two of the nicest children who loved to play and always had bright smiles on their faces.

Parliamentary Representative for the area, Conrad Sayers, expressed deep regret at the death of the children. “This is a wake up call for all parents, and it is something we need to take more seriously,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, Opposition Senator St Clair Leacock said that he was highly disgusted about the matter, stating that it was pathetic that a mother would leave her children at home unattended. He further added that it was a wake up call for those parents who practice leaving their children at home alone.

Police confirmed that the cause of the fire was electrical.

On Thursday, February 26, Sutherland was charged for causing the death of her children when she appeared at the Serious Offences Court, and was released on $70,000 bail with one surety.

The charges read that: Kalliecia Sutherland caused the death of Jerad Finch, 1, and Kayla Sutherland, 3, of Redemption Sharpes. She was also charged with unlawfully abandoning Jerad Finch, a child under the age of two, where the life of such child was endangered.

Sutherland was ordered to surrender her travel documents and told not to leave mainland St. Vincent or the state. She was represented by attorney Sylvester Raymond Cadette, and the matter was adjourned to May 19, 2009 for Preliminary Inquiry.