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Nov 27, 1998

Cellmates say Mark Stuart was murderer

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The code of silence for three prisoners suspected of murdering their cellmate Tuesday night did not last long as police report that two of the inmates have fingered the third as the man who attacked and killed Osmani Guerra. Today I visited Hattieville Prison to get some background on the crime.

It is still not certain what made twenty-three year old Hattieville inmate, Mark Stuart, brutally kill and then cut off the right arm of cellmate, twenty-six year old Osmani Guerra on the night of November twenty-fourth. Stuart, along with eighteen year old Leroy Flowers, were moved to the punishment cell, just a day earlier for escaping from police custody while they were being escorted from Magistrate’s Court to the Police Station on Queen Street. Also in the cell was twenty-four year old Albert Broaster. According to Bernard Adolphus, Superintendent of Prisons, Guerra was placed in cell number 41, after he had stabbed one Victor Itza, fives times in the chest after a fight erupted between the two men on November twentieth.

Bernard Adolphus, Superintendent of Prisons

“The first thing why we separated Guerra is because we felt that in the event of anything happening to Itza the police can automatically hold on to Guerra without any fuss and that was in the event that any serious business was done or if he had passed away at the hospital. I am talking about Itza because the damage was very serious in our sight. Now, he was not classified as that serious and he was returned back to our location.”

Adolphus says it was later discovered that both Guerra and Itza are members of rival gangs and it was bad blood between the two inmates that triggered the fight. It was this incident, Adolphus suspects that led to Guerra being killed. Adolphus says because of the way Guerra was killed, it is also strongly believed that Flowers and Broaster may have assisted in the murder.

Q: “How can they kill a man in there without anybody know?”

Bernard Adolphus

“The first possibility that cross my mind was, he had to hold him down, either one or two, put, from my experience, he put something over his mouth, hold him down. If I am a powerful guy, I can do it. While I am holding him down, and somebody else is holding him down, your legs, now I am speculating, I can have a free hand to just stab him, stab him and stab him.”

Guerra received a total of eight stab wounds. One to the throat and seven to the chest. But what could have possessed the murderer to cut off a dead man’s arm?

Bernard Adolphus

“It’s like a message because part of the jail vine is saying that when the arm was severed, severed from the body, he shouted and said, “This is for deputy chief officer O’Brien, right. He had no right to put me in this cell when I did not escape from the prison but I escape from the police that’s what he said.”

According to Adolphus when prison officers entered Stuart’s cell, they found the inmate very relaxed, lying in a hammock with a plate of food on his chest while Guerra’s dead body was just a few feet away.

Bernard Adolphus

“They were cool. Stuart was very cool, Flowers was a little bit frightened and the other was in a corner, right. And I am no Sherlock Holmes, but this is a murder.”

Adolphus says they also suspect that an inmate in cell number sixteen, who had access to the prison grounds provided Stuart with the weapon and then hid it in the wall behind a socket.

Bernard Adolphus

“If I killed you, we had an accident or we had a quarrel and I decided to kill you, and I lived a top this house and I have friends downstairs of this house, and I ask them to hide the weapon from you, and I lower it down on a string and hide it from you or from through some hole that was there in the flooring, I would drop it down there and hide that from you so that when you come, they don’t search me. If the weapon is found in the bottom of the house, then obviously somebody down there had something to do with it also.”

It is not known how prosecutors will handle the case with regard to charges against Flowers and Broaster and their crucial testimony against Stuart.

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