The father of the late Sonnie Tipayson, Mr. Eric Tipayson, has told the Criminal Court in Monrovia how his son-in-law, defendant Sylvester Tarpeh Davies horribly murdered and stocked his 23 years old daughter’s lifeless body in a barrel in which the father kept his clothes inside his room.
Following witnesses Tipayson and Officer Morris K. Williams’s testimonies for the state on Tuesday, February 23, 2015, prosecutors rested with a display of oral and documentary evidences, but with reservation to produce rebuttals if needed.
Defendant Davies pleaded guilty to the murder charge when the court read the indictment to him at the commencement of the case on Monday, February 23, 2015.
Prior to murdering Sonnie by whom defendant Davies already had a kid within three years of their relationship, Mr. Tipayson said the defendant and his daughter had both been living with him in his house in Paity Town, where he, said they made confusion.
At 5pm on November 30, 2014 when Mr. Tipayson returned home from work, he narrated that his brother-in-law, Mr. Kortu Ballah, who was sick, had hinted him to check on his daughter because since defendant Davies rushed on her in his (father’s) room, he had not seen her come out.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Tipayson said his brother-in-law, Mr. Ballah, who was at home, had not been well and had also [doused] himself with tablets without seeking doctor’s advice- apparently suggesting his physical inability to intervene during the fight.
Mr. Tipayson said he went searching for his daughter from one house to another since he could not find her in his room; but was told everywhere he visited in search of his daughter that they did not see her.
He said defendant Davies’ telephone was switched off when he attempted calling to find out about his daughter’s whereabouts at the time she could not be seen. After another search had failed on Saturday morning, the witness said, he did not see Sonnie until Sunday morning when he was searching for his clothes in his barrel he wanted to press for a wedding ceremony.
At about 11 O’ Clock on that Sunday, Mr. Tipayson said while screwing off the cover pf the barrel, he got hit by a strong scent that he thought was a dead rat.
“The barrel was in the corner in the dark area. I said let me haul it to the light. I hauled the barrel to the light, took off the Ghana Must-Go-bag. When I took off the Ghana Must-Go-bag, what I saw was my daughter turned upside down,” Mr. Tipayson narrated.
Upon sight of his daughter’s feet upward and head down in the barrel, Mr. Tipayson said, he and the barrel fell together to the ground and he subsequently went off.
According to him, when his son came entered the room and saw his sister, he too fell on him (father) and began crying, and calling the neighbors.
“He started crying before I came to myself. He and I started crying and neighbors started coming around and my relatives came in and took me from the house to my brother’s house,” he said.
He said officers from the homicide division of the Liberia National Police later came in and took the body outside, where they had to use cutlass to carefully split the barrel before hauling the body out the barrel.
Earlier, the head of the Forensic Division of the Liberia National Police, Mr. Moses K. Williams, said forensic investigation showed that the victim was killed and stocked in the barrel.
He identified and testified to a forensic report written on December 3, 2014 that carries his signature as supervisor to officers that probed the crime scene; photo of the victim’s residence and also her dead body stocked in a blue barrel with her feet upward and head upside down.
He also identified a photo showing health workers and community dwellers dressed in personal protective equipment used during the Ebola crisis here helping investigators to take the body out.
He said the victim was pulled from the barrel without any physical contact with the cutlass because the barrel was split gently. He said Officer Justine Gbono, who investigated the crime scene under his supervision, was quarantined because of the Ebola situation.
But he clarified that had Officer Justine not been quarantined, either of them- meaning Justine or Williams, could have appeared to testified as per his office function.
Trial continues this morning at 9:30, and public defenders are expected to begin giving their side of the story.
By Winston W. Parley