Jonathan Williams, the prime suspect in the death of Super FM TV cameraman Tyron Browne, has told police investigators that he killed the journalist in ‘self-defense’ after the journalist reportedly refused to leave his residence when asked to do so on the evening of Sunday, April 15.
Williams told police at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) over the weekend that Tyron Browne (now deceased) posed a threat to him and his nieces when he allegedly refused to identify himself, while in the vicinity.
Although he did not clearly explain what threat Browne actually posed to him and his nieces, he told LNP investigators that he and the late Browne engaged in a physical fight but in the end, he stabbed him with a knife.
He admitted that after killing Browne, he conveyed his remains in his vehicle and deposited it at a site where people could see and identify him, which was at the Kingdom Care School on Du-port Road.
He said he phoned his lawyer, Cllr. Cyril Jones shortly after he committed the murder. However, he did not disclose the detail of his conversation with Cllr. Jones.
“I am entitled to a lawyer,” he told the LNP investigators.
What is conflicting in Williams’ admission is that he earlier said upon his arrest on Friday, April 20, that the victim collapsed at the front of his gate and that he (Williams) went back indoors. But when he was asked further by LNP Chief of Traffic Meekie Gray to clarify where he took the body, he said, “I took the body somewhere so that it could be seen.”
Later, police spokesperson Moses Carter explained that suspect Williams did not point finger at the government or anyone else of being his accomplice or chief architect in the murder of Browne.
“There were too many assumptions and finger-pointing at the government of being responsible for the death of journalist Browne, but we are glad that the prime suspect is in our custody and undergoing investigation,” Carter said.
“Our investigators have made a breakthrough by arresting the prime suspect,” he told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
He said even though investigation is still ongoing to determine the circumstances that led to the death of the journalist, suspect Williams said that on the evening hours of Sunday, April 15, at about 9p.m., one of his relatives, Alice Utee, who stays with him in his house at Du-port Road, informed him of a strange individual that had knocked at his door.
He claimed that when the individual was asked to reveal his identity, he refused to do so, thereby instilling fear in the occupants, and they thought he was an armed robber.
According to Alice Utee, when they asked who was outside the door, the victim was alleged to have said, “Look at the door, you will see who it is.”
This alleged response from journalist Browne, Utee said, instilled fear in her. So she went to the living room where her sister, Edwina Utee was watching a Filipino movie and informed her.
Carter quoted investigators as saying that the two went to find out who the individual was, but according to them, Browne did not disclose his identity again.
After those brief scenes, Carter said the two young ladies called on their uncle Williams, who came out with a knife and asked Tyron as to who he had come to see. But Browne was reported to have said that he did not go there to see anyone.
He noted that Williams allegedly asked Tyron, “Can you leave because you are trespassing on my compound, but Browne reportedly replied, “If I don’t leave what will you do?”
“Williams said he chose to push journalist Browne out of his premises, but Browne strongly resisted. He told our investigators that he and Browne got into a scuffle and in the process, Browne knocked his head against the wall. It was then that he stabbed Browne,” Carter said.
He said Williams told investigators that he did not know where journalist Browne went after he stabbed him. But when he and his nieces (Alice and Edwina) made a follow-up, two feet from their house they found the journalist lying down.
According to Williams, it was then that Edwina confirmed that Browne was her casual friend that she had known for some years.
“She told our investigators that Browne motivated her over the years and the last time they saw each other was in November last year,” he said, adding that she told police that she knew Browne from around the Du-port Road market.
Carter said Williams told investigators that after realizing that Brown was dead, he called on a male friend, who had returned from his security guard service work, to help him put the body of Browne in an Infiniti Pathfinder Jeep. Later, they dropped the body at the Kingdom Care in Du-port Road where the deceased could be identified.
The management of Super Communications Network, owner and operator of Super FM/TV has meanwhile commended the LNP for the arrest of suspect Jonathan Williams.
In a press release signed by general manager Emmanuel Y. Kortu, and approved by Chief Executive Officer George B. Kailondo on behalf of the Sky FM/TV family, “We specifically want to recognize the crime investigation department and the forensic service unit of the Liberia National Police who were the lead detectives on this investigation.”