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Feb 15, 2011

The woman between the murderer and the victim speaks

Darwin "Darmo" Phillips

Instead of being a peaceful night before Valentine’s Day, tragedy struck on Sunday for five children who are without their fathers tonight. One is dead, stabbed to the heart, and a father of four is behind bars for murder. Even worse, all children were at home at the time when Vincent ‘Steeno’ Tillett committed the violent act. Earlier today, before Chief Magistrate Margaret Gabb McKenzie, the forty-six year old was charged for the murder of twenty-two year old Darwin Phillips. No plea was taken from the accused, however, a preliminary inquiry will soon follow after which the matter may be committed to the Supreme Court where the plea will be taken. The woman at the center of the controversy and the mother of their children, twenty-eight year old Denise Stewart spoke to News Five this afternoon at her Antelope Street Extension home about what could have caused the murder.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Vincent ‘Steeno’ Tillett Sr.

This morning in court, Vincent ‘Steeno’ Tillett Sr. was charged for the murder of Darwin Phillips.  Philips was stabbed, once to the heart, inside the home of his girlfriend while he held his infant daughter, Samantha, to his chest.  Twenty eight year old Denise Stewart has four kids for ‘Steeno’ Tillett and one daughter recently for Phillips. She recalled how it unfolded in her living room on Sunday night.

Denise Stewart, Witnessed Murder

“After everything happen, my son say that Steeno come out of the vehicle and take a knife out of the vehicle. And then he gone straight in the kitchen. I noh know if he neva like fi see how we mi deh inside deh because dah mi me and my sister, and then me and Darwin mi di see down in a chair together and the kids mi deh pan the floor. Maybe that dah weh piss he off or something like that because he mi always seh he no wah move out of his house, or he noh gwen far from fi he house cause he noh wah make no next man come live dah his house. No police nobody can’t make he move out ah he house, but this is my house. The when he come out of the kitchen, he knocked Darwin in the chest. Then time, me and Darwin sit down ina the chair and when Darwin jump up, we neva know. When I conscious dah stab Steeno stab Darwin ina ih chest, I tell Darwin go through he back door because I neva wah he meet Steeno by this door. So Darwin gone outside and by the time I look through the window I see Darwin di stagger pan di street and I see Darwin drop in a pool of water weh mi deh down deh so. I called the ambulance.”

But what drove this father of four to kill?

Jose Sanchez

“A question people have is whether or not you’re going back and forth between Steeno and Darwin? That dah weh they want know.”

Denise Stewart

Denise Stewart

“Well I neva did mi di go back and forth with Darwin none at all. But Steeno come round all the time from before. I neva stop Steeno from seeing his kids deh. Sometimes ih woulda come and sit down right pan dah chair deh so. Sometime ih woulda ker the pickney deh and when they woulda come they seh deh mi deh dah Sand Hill. But I neva stop Steeno from come see ih kids deh at all. And he seh nobody would come stop him—they dah fi he kids they. I noh work none at all so dah two ah deh help me. Darwin help me, Steeno help me and.”

Jose Sanchez

“You woulda seh they were fighting for my affection?”

Denise Stewart

“I coulda neva seh that dah mi di case. I just think that dah Steeno just neva wah accept the fact that I don’t have him no mo right.”

Jose Sanchez

“At this point Darwin dah mi your man. Plan and simple.”

Denise Stewart

“Yeah bottom line and I can’t seh nothing else about that.”

Angela Hyde, Witnessed Murder (File: February 14, 2011)

Angela Hyde

“They even ended up in family court, Darwin and Denise, Steeno and Darwin and Denise and Steeno—three ah deh had separate cases sake of different lee problems weh they had. Me and my husband always advise them this have to done because ih di get out of hand. Everybody weh know we, fi we whole family always advise Denise against weh di happen, you know. But at the time Denise seh that ih no longer wanted to be with Steeno. But then Steeno build ih house and he said he invested some years ina it and he didn’t just want to walk off like that. So then they try work it out. But I guess ih neva mi wah work if two people ina the relationship with one person, with one woman—two man and one woman, it won’t work. So I noh know. I think that maybe if they mi stop longtime,

OUT   14:48:01 somebody life mi wah save. And Darwin lose his life literally.”

This unemployed mother of five is in a precarious situation since the fathers of her five children are gone.

Denise Stewart

“I mussi wah have to work now. But even if I start to work and thing, a job won’t help me. I mussi wah have to start do something on my own. Most place only give you one hundred and fifty dollars that can’t take care of me and my kids they. I have my kids deh yah so, I have bills to pay. If I go work, wah hundred and fifty dollars can’t help me because I wah have to find somebody to take care of the kids while I di work. It wah be wah lee help, but then. I dah wah person, I usually cook for my kids deh so when they come home deh could got wah lee thing fi eat. I got a small business certificate and I mussi wah have to try do something now because the two gone weh mi deh the help mi—Darwin gone and that really said. I just neva know that I mi wah lose Darwin like that. Steeno, Steeno wrong. I hope he spends time and and really pay fi weh eh do, you know.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Tillett turned himself in to police on the advice of Attorney Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley on Valentine’s Day. He was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison where he is due back in Court on March twenty-third.  The Post Mortem examination on Phillips’ body reveals the cause of death to be exsanguinations due to internal bleeding as a consequence of a stab wound to the heart.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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23 Responses for “The woman between the murderer and the victim speaks”

  1. Lucas says:

    It is so sad. A young man dead; another in jail; five kids lost their father and the woman is walking free. I suggest to the family of the deceased to check with a good lawyer and find out if this woman can be charged with accessory to murder. Or the DPP should herself look into that possibility.

  2. Also Concerned says:

    Actually, I don’t care, Mr. Sanchez, if Ms. Stuart went back and forth b/t the murderer and the victim. This is cold-blooded murder, in the presence of children no less. Leave the excuses to the accused and his defense team.

    This reporting is along the lines of a sensational tabloid news story. Report the facts. Stay away from speculating.

  3. RadicalBelizean says:

    I won’t be shallow but all I will say, is that from what I am looking at this woman was really fortunate in life up until now. Two men? Some other women struggle to get one man to supported them and their kid, whilst you’re busy playing men.

    Now since you spend the past few years on your back with the end product being five children, it is your turn to get up and go to work. Provide for them like you are suppose to. Let this be a lesson for all the Belizean women who produce kids like factories when contraceptives are available, stop now. Concentrate on developing yourself, so your can support yourself, because all it seems this woman had these men around her for was the money. There is a word for that………………… There was no word of affection, love, emotional sentiments for either of the men.
    An uneducated woman and she turning up her nose at $150 dollars? It’s an insult to all the hard working women out there doing it for themselves because they have self-worth, pride and ambition. This a clear indication of the immature nature of the woman. Sadly the children will be the ones who feel the impact of her actions and decisions. However they seem to have a very level headed auntie who can keep an eye out for them.

  4. Reggie says:

    Sad to see the guy loose his life. now she is saying $150.00 a week can’t mind her n her kids.well i guess she was getting much more that that from both man.sound like a woman who wanted to make kids and live off them.Like Supa G say 4 men. I don’t feel sorry for her and i hope the public don’t assist her she is the one that cause the Guy death.Let her go out there and work.I know a young lady have 3 kids going to school. she herself is going to tcc in the evening and is working from 7 am to 4 pm and still have to pay rent in town n mind her kids in the village,and she is making $200.00 a week.and this Denise already know that $150.00 Can’t mind her.I hope SSB don’t give her a dime for the little girl.let her work for the money.or take the baby away from her and let the father mom mind the kid and give her the money.for sure she already know that she will get that money.So she will live off the death man money so sad.

  5. Brain says:

    If she woulda dah never deh back and front with both men this woulda Neva happen….she should get charge also…She is just another triffling bi*** sorry to say…

  6. Justice says:

    Woman of course you have to work! Who told you to have so manyy in the first instance if you were relying on others to provide for them. I have a job, I also cook and wash and clean my hpuse and I also help my children with their homework so I cannot understand why you would say “I mussi wah have to work now” It appears to me that you were playing these two men because both gave you money. You cannot do that to people. Whilst we are the higherst level of species on earth there are momnets when we snap. We try to control ourselves but if you were playing these men you would have had to expect this sooner or later.
    You were 27 or so years old with 4 children, why prey on a 21 year old man? Now you are 28 with 5 children and no man. Get out there and work!

  7. cindy says:

    thats for young men to find young woman. no old haug. thye got pickney and that da trouble. he found his own death.!

  8. spanglish says:






  10. Robert says:

    This woman should be a warning to all young women of Belize — creating a child is an awesome responsibility, and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, recklessly, or without resources to care for them well when life goes bad — as it does, now and then, for almost everyone.

    Too bad for the victim, too bad for the poor children.


  11. In a woman's defence says:

    You would think from the comments in this forum that the woman was the criminal. Please lay the blame at the feet of the murderer and no one else. A 22 year old and a 45 year old are considered men in the eyes of the law and society. The 45 year old decided to take a life and he should be on trial not the woman. The prevailing attitude in Belize is that the woman is always to blame. Educated or uneducated woman are treated the same in belize, like trash. The first thing men to to degrade the woman’s reputation is to insinuate that she is sleeping around. The same standards of course are not applied to men. We cannot get ahead in Belize because women (mothers, sisters, wives) who are the backbone of society are treated with no respect. The men commit all the crime but the women get the blame.

  12. Also Concerned says:

    In a woman’s defence, thank you! The alleged murderer is responsible for his actions. A murderer is being exonerated here, b/c ppl seem to believe that a woman who has has at least 2 different lovers (how dare she?!) is worse than a killer.

  13. RadicalBelizean says:

    In a woman’s defence: Absolutely no one is saying that Tillett is not to blame. Absolutely no one. However, if you took some time to review this woman’s interview she discussed money and not being able to work for little money and what the men gave her and more money and money and not want to work for little money and money and money. That’s where the anger towards her come from. At no point did she express sincere sorrow for the loss of life of her current boyfriend (but then again, it’s unclear which one was the current boyfriend). Perhaps there was a shift pattern going on and someone turned up at the wrong time. I sincerely give fellow Belizean men a hard time when its necessary. This women clearly had two men supporting her and clearly she did not have boundaries and her life together. Also what angers people is that she pour scorn on $150 when there are plenty of hardworking, respectable single women up and down the country able to hold their heads high because they can handle their business on their own.. That is what you call a woman. Denise is not an example of Belize’s backbone of society. What kind of message you think you she’d send out to young women coming up in Belize? Do not insult Belizean women.

  14. Justice says:

    I am a woman and I would not say she was not contributing. Yes the man had no right to murder but she had no right to be entertaining two men. You think in this day and age a man would give more than $150. 00 a week without other benefits? She enjoyed getting the money and said so in different words. Other mothers out there beware that your son will be targeted next by this person who seem bent on working on her back.

  15. RG Belizean says:

    Gyal really “you mussi wah have fi work” What the hell you think. That’s what you should have been doing from the time you had your children. $150.00 is better than nothing at all so get your A$$ up and take care of your responsibility. Both of the men your lives that were helping you is gone. Time to be a MOTHER!

  16. BZNinCALI says:

    Thank you Radical Belizean. Many of us had mothers who worked & turned out fine. Most of us practice(d) birth control because we want the best for our children & if it means working out of the home & paying a sitter, we made the sacrifice & adjusted our budget accordingly. What Denise can only hope for after this chapter of her life is that she can change her ways & show her children a positive role model. It is no more acceptable when a man behaves the same way. We, the women, the matriarchs, backbone whatever we choose to call ourselves have to set the tone. I cannot raise my sons to respect women when I show no loyalty to their father by cheating on him or worse, cheating on him in their presence & bringing another man’s baby into the mix . The message it sends to our daughters is even more confusing & we pretend to be surprised when they behave as if they have no control of their genitals.

    And about your cooking….. woman puhleeease. You are their mother, you were at home, who else is supposed to cook for them? And you don’t look like you missed any meals. Girl, the next step will be the removal of your children, stop being a narcissist, get off your back & keep your drawers on for a while until you can get yourself together & for God’s sake, fake a conscience until you can develop one or stay away from a camera.

  17. Allexclusive says:

    At the end of the day i have to agree with some and disagree with others. like i said before i am a woman and will not be bashing or degrading another woman. However, it is unfair to those poor kids left without their main provider. I can’t imagine she would get on tv and proclaim that she cooks and thing for those kids. That is an outright blatant lie. Stino was always seen with those kids taking them to and from school and taking them to get food during lunch time. at this time she was with her “juvy” getting her groove on and making another baby she couldn’t afford to take care of. She had that poor little girl i don’t even think is 10 yet (maybe) washing and hanging out clothes and taking care of the younger siblings while she goes about doing her own thing. I saw this coming but didn’t know it would end this way. Age ain’t nothing but a number she knew how old stino was the minute she met her and that didn’t seem to bother her. moreover, she was used to not working cause stino took care of her and her children and was a good father and common law to her. she was an irresponsible mother.

    what was also alarming in her interview was that the house is hers. Something is worng wid this woman. she met this man hard working who took her in and gave her a shelter over her head and then wanna turn around and put him out of his own house so she doesn’t have to use a motel or whereever she used to go to meet her juvy. The nerve of her. she is lying through her teeth about her affairs cause she darn well know that she was playing those two guys and everyone who lives around there knows that. If u don’t have a man why get jealous when u see him with other woman friends??????????????? why tell his customers that he is not at home when they need his taxi service? why always made his life miserable. she was just a gold digger and was used to easy money. i can sit here and make my comments cause i know her and the situation and my heart goes out to stino. what you did was wrong but you had to defend yourself too. she had the heart to set you up and try to have you killed. condolences to the family of darwin its unfortunate that it had to be your son but like some of u guys said she should also be punished she provoked this man as well and caused him pain. she deserves to be alone and i wudn’t support her business one bit go out and work hard for what you need. take on your role as a mother cause to those children you are just the person who gave birth to them and nothing more. Human services need to look into the matter with her children she is an unfit mother and so is the aunt who did the interview. she was also apart of the problem she always went for denise and took her to go meet man at clubs and things like that.

  18. Yabra Gyal says:

    Free tie-off dah BFLA. stop di mek so much pikney the cycle of poverty and abuse will only continue!!!

  19. louisville,ky says:

    The children have my sympathies in this episode. Steeno, that was calculated, premeditated and cold blooded. Your own son said you brought the knife out of the car with you. I am sure you realize by now that that piece of grassy puddn’ you took a life for, was not worth it.
    Denise, oh Denise!! Dah no you do it but… si weh yu kaaz?? What is even more troublesome, is that you seem not to have any remorse.
    My heart truely goes out to my black Belizean bredren. When it’s not the young wanna be’s shooting up one another, it’s those who should be setting the example acting like they don’t have any sense over some muddy crutch. Mein…………

  20. corf says:

    Reading all these judgemental comments make me sick to my stomach. I read this lady comments on channel 7 and she said that she had nothing sexual with the older dude but allows him to come around for the kids sake.I mean seriously, how wrong can that be? Most men in Belize don’t want anything to do with their kids and here she is thinking like a parent to keep the father of her kids in their lives and he did something real stupid and now everyone is crucifying her. The older dude probably had an ulterior motive in the first for being around his kids (probably because he’s still in love with her) because some people just don’t know how to walk away.I do not see why she should be blame for his wrong doing. If there is anything else she said that is not pleasing to others, so be it but as far as the murder, that is all on his dumb, stupid @$$ and I hope they lock him up and throw away the key. This kid had everything on his side that he didn’t. Youth, looks,probably stamina and he couldn’t handle that. There are a lot of men walking around this earth that have a huge ego problem and in this case, his ego did him in. She needs to put all this behind her for the sake of those kids and be a good mom to them. I hope she never feels responsible for one mans foolish, egotistic, dumb @$$ mistake. We are all responsible for our own actions.He who is without sin,please, i beg of you, please cast the first stone…yeah! thats what I thought you judgemental @$$holes…yeah i said it…now what?

  21. Da word says:

    i believe this woman obeah this guyz @$$.. and caused his own death. if i were the DPPthe woman should get charged too because she is exploiting both men. RIP

  22. corf says:

    OMG!…I can’t believe people still believe in obeah this day and age.Hahahaha!..This is so funny. I’ve always believed that the people that believe in that crap are the ones that tried to play in it. I would love to see the headlines in the Amandala news paper.”Woman charged for the obeah of two men”,,Hahaha! Its not hard to see why Belize is the way it is.People work too much for the devil instead of working with God.

  23. Racqkeem says:

    I know that alot of people are in the same situation or have been in a situation where they wanted to play the game but we should all learn from this. Because she didn’t know how to play the game,lay down rules,and chose which man she loved more she cause this guy his death. She is to blame for majority of this and Darwin should have also been smart and not do that because something was going to happen but unfortunately what happened cause his death. She now claims $150 is too little gal please yer my mom had 9 kids and took care of them with that money and all of us are proud of her. Nobody should judge her because we never know what kind of situation we will end up in but trust me she was wrong to be using these men just for money and not love and don’t seem to have any remorse or guilt for it. Also, she doesn’t seem to care just the worry bout how she will make it. A man died that you had a relationship with, and nothing gal?You heartless and never really care. Now,because you couldn’t woman up the man in jail for his actions because he couldn’t take it anymore. And he seemed to love his kids and take care of them. Now,no more daddy,nor no more money. Gal yo good but you know what God is better he will know how to fix this and I pray that some how you learn from it and if you don’t and really heartless you feel the hard way. Girls this should shake us up but at the same time we are all humans and will make mistakes so know what your doing and think bout this !@#$,really think bout it!!!!

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