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Ex-con gunned down in Vermont

Ex-con gunned down in Vermont


In the community of Vermont, when it comes to murders, “nobody sees and nobody knows.”

So, Sylvina O’Neil, the mother of one of this country’s latest murder victims, has already accepted the fact that she may never know who killed her son and she may never get justice.

“Justice is in the hands of God, because nobody sees and nobody cares,” Sylvina told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday in Vermont.

Sylvina’s son, Raphael “Snaky” O’Neil, was shot and killed last Friday night in the village of Vermont, where he was born.

Raphael was at a popular hangout spot when he was shot.

His mother said that around 10:15 p.m., Raphael’s father came home and told her that her son had been shot about 20 minutes earlier and she went to the scene of the crime where she saw him lying in a pool of blood.

Sylvina said persons told her that her son was sitting on a wall when he was shot in his face. He got up and walked a few feet and was hit about six more times before he collapsed and died.

Born on April 11, 1985, Raphael was a cocaine user, who had been to prison for burglary on several occasions. His latest sentence ended on Saturday, September 9.

Sylvina said her son was introduced to cocaine at the tender age of 12 and when he smoked the highly addictive drug, he would do things that she did not approve of.

“If was weed alone (he smoked) me nah mind…they break him into cocaine and from that tender age you know what will happen,” said Sylvina, who has five other children.

She added, “Me cah feel good, but it done happen; me never expect him to die like that, but people want to kill them since them going school.”

She said that Raphael, who is her fourth child, was good to her and the same day he was killed, they went to the beach in the morning and when they returned home, he roasted a breadfruit for her and bought chicken with money she gave him and cooked her dinner.

“We have a good relationship; he listen to me at times, but one thing I didn’t like with him is when he smoke,” said the elderly farmer.

She said the last time he was imprisoned, she asked if he had committed the burglary for which he was accused, as the number of things that the victim said had been stolen seemed too much for Raphael to move with.

“I don’t understand how he could have carried all those things,” said Sylvina.

Raphael was the 26th person murdered here this year. His death marked the beginning of a bloody weekend, which saw two other persons gunned down on Saturday night: Andrew Roberts of Ottley Hall and Keisha Melville of Murray’s Village.

Ezekiel “13s” Robin of Belair/Clare Valley was also shot on Saturday, but survived.