Liberia: U.S. Citizen Accused of Attempting to Kill His Liberian Wife Appears in Court

Lucas Richard appears in court in Monrovia

Lucas K. Richard, the U.S. citizen accused of attempting to kill his Liberian wife, identified as Jessica Llyod, has been charged and forwarded to the Bushrod Island Magisterial Court for trial.

Richard was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault by the Liberia National Police (LNP).

Ushered from a police pickup in handcuffs, a black t-shirt and cargo shorts, Richard made his first court appearance on Tuesday, September 19, exactly five days after he was arrested, on September 14, in the Palm Farm Community,  Dixville, on the outskirts of Monrovia.

Among his personal effects presented to the court were anxiety suppressant pills — with potential drowsing effects — though it was not clear whether he ever used them on his victim. 

According to court documents, on September 14, at 4:00 PM, defendant Lucas K. Richard was arrested, acquainted with his Constitutional rights, investigated and subsequently charged with the crime of Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder and Aggravated Assault in violation of Chapter 10; Section 10.1, Chapter 14 for knowingly, purposely and intentionally attempting to cause the death of victim Jessica Lloyd.

The documents claimed that defendant Richard hit the victim on the head with a heavy or blunt object which caused her to go unconscious, and subsequently used a sharp object (knife) to slash the throat of his victim, Jcssica Lloyd, in an attempt to kill her. 

The documents also quoted the victim that she and the defendant got onboard a white land cruiser bearing plate number A62650 on September 14.

According to Lloyd, during the ride, defendant Richard took the route leading towards Barnesville and onward to the Kebah Community, before going towards Dixville Community using the Main Streets.

It was  alleged by victim Jessica Llyod that defendant Lucas Richard drove off the Main Street when they entered the Dixville Community, where she realized that they got very close to a river bank where they saw group of persons believed to be disadvantaged youths who came around the defendant asking for financial help, but defendant Richard got back into the vehicle and drove a little distance away.

She claimed that the defendant Richard asked that they both disembarked, which they did.

According to her, when they disembarked the vehicle,  Richard was seen pulling a knife from a cage  and walking into the bush. She further claimed that Richard told her that he was holding the knife because he is afraid of snakes and if any snake attempts to bite him, he will attack said snake using the knife and thereafter, he asked her to follow him,  but she refused and told him "You know I am afraid, I will not come there”, and as such, defendant Richard returned to his victim.

She and Richard later walked the opposite direction of the bush where he had seen an animal and wanted her to come closer to him to see the animal. But, she did not follow him.

Suddenly, she said, Richard  immediately returned to victim Jessica Llyod with the knife in one of his hands, asked her for them to board the vehicle which she did and they drove off and later got on the main Street, running through Dixville and turned the vehicle head towards the direction of Dixville Junction, Caldwell Township and, while en route, he asked the victim for them to sit at a cemetery alongside said road so that they could have a quiet time.

But, she registered to him that she did not want to sit at a cemetery as such; they continued their journey until they reached within the vicinity of Early Memorial School alongside the Main Street, specifically Palm Farm, Dixville Community, where defendant  Richard stopped the white land cruiser on grounds that one of the tires on said vehicle had developed a problem. 

In the quest for defendant Richard to inflict serious body wounds on her and take away her life for reason/s best known to himself, according to her, he employed several tricks as mentioned above but took advantage of an opportunity when he placed her  under the pretense that one of the tires under the jeep did develop problem and at that junction he asked her to assist him by placing a vehicle wheel ring on one of the tires at the passenger side of the vehicle.

And, while she was doing the same, defendant  Richard seized the opportunity to strike her with an instrument at the back of her head and started to pull her in the grass very close to a water station in a drainage, along the road side where he used a knife to slash a little portion of the front part of her neck. 

“This was attested to by witness Ernest Philip who initially spotted defendant Richard perpetrating said actions before alarming for assistance,” according to the police charge sheet.

According to the document, defendant Richard claimed that it was Ernest Philip or Abdulai Sheriff both of whom were motorbike riders who hit victim Jessica Llyod with a motorbike but falsely accused him of wanting to kill Jessica Llyod who he claimed he tried to assist. 

However, the records claimed that defendant Richard denied being the one who inflicted wounds on the victim, but instead claimed it was a moving motorbike rider that hit the victim with his bike and subsequently raised alarm that he (defendant Richard) was the one trying to kill her.

The police investigation further said that Richard was on a mission because she and Richard had a love relationship.

According to the record, defendant Richard on September 14, 2023, visited the home of the victim’s family, where he remained for some time before taking the victim out of said residence under the pretense that he was going to console her for the termination of her pregnancy. However, to the contrary, he was caught within the Palm Farm Community, Dixville, precisely closer to Early Memorial School where he tried killing her (vctim Jessica Llyod) by inflicting wounds at the back of her head.

The record further claimed that while victim Jessica Llyod and her brother Jesse Llyod were attending the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Bible Mission, located alongside the Roberts Field Highway, defendant Lucas Richard, who was teaching at said institution, started a love relationship with victim Jessica Llyod resulting in the two getting married in a traditional ceremony — a non-religious marital contract which is legal under Liberian law — at the residence of the Llyod family, situated within the vicinity of Patience Shop, Dwahn Town Community, Barnesville.

During the relationship between defendant Lucas Richard and victim Jessica Llyod, she got impregnated but the pregnancy got aborted when defendant Lucas Richard administered some tablets and an injection to and on her.

The investigation revealed that, as lover to victim Jessica Llyod, defendant Lucas Richard had on many occasions visited the Llyod family residence, where victim Jessica Llyod resides.

It said Jessica Llyod’s iPhone went missing in Kakata, Margibi County, amongst many phones that were placed in charge during one of YWAM Liberia’s Bible outreach activities.

The phone is suspected of containing some information and photos that provide insight into the relationship between defendant Lucas Richard and victim Jessica Llyod. 

Some of the missionaries running the YWAM Mission allegedly got information concerning the relationship between Richard and Lloyd, for which there was an alleged probe that resulted in the discontinuance of Jessica Llyod from participating in the YWAM program, from which she was expected to graduate. 

Madam Cynthia Llyod, mother of Jessica Llyod, confirmed that her daughter was denied graduation. 

Jessica’s parents and siblings remain thankful that she survived such a close encounter with death. But they say they will not rest until Richard, from whom they accepted a dowry for her hand in marriage, is convicted under the full weight of the law. 

Richard has so far stuck to his story, claiming that it wasn’t him, but a motorbike rider, that struck Jessica. But Jessica’s own statement, naming Richard as the one who held the knife to her throat, may be the lynchpin for his conviction. 

However, many are wondering why, given that Jessica’s pregnancy was terminated, Richard still attempted to take her life. That is a question only Lucas Richard can answer.