Navy Officer Faces Death Penalty After Alleged Kidnap And Murder Lover’s Baby’s Mother And Child
A U.S. Navy petty officer is looking at a possible death sentence after being accused of a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the death of a woman and her 10-month-old baby in Jamaica, NBC News reports.
Leoda Vanessa Bradshaw, 34, was indicted early October 2023 for her involvement in the kidnapping and murders of Toshyna Patterson, 27, and her 10-month-old daughter, Sarayah Paulwell. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Kingston said in a news release that Bradshaw was in a relationship and had a child with Phillip Paulwell, member of Parliament from Kingston East. She considered Paulwell her spouse.
According to prosecutors, Sarayah Paulwell was also Phillip Paulwell’s child.
Prosecutors in the case claim Navy Petty Officer Bradshaw traveled to Jamaica on Sept. 6 with a plan involving three men, Richard Brown, Roshane Miller and cousin Roland Balfour, to kidnap and kill Patterson and the baby. The plans were made through conversations between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9, with the murder plot allegedly carried out on Sept. 9. Bradshaw kidnapped the victims from their home and delivered them to the men in St. Andrew, Jamaica.
During a press conference, Jamaica Constabulary Force Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey referred to the case as “one of the most painful investigations” after revealing that the bodies were burned and disposed of.
Bradshaw was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to kidnap, two counts of conspiracy to murder, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of capital murder. Brown, Miller and Balfour were indicted on several charges, including conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, murder and accessory before the fact to kidnapping.
Phillip Paulwell posted a picture of the victims on Instagram on Sept. 15, shortly after their kidnapping, with a lengthy caption describing his feelings.
“The last week has been very horrific for me,” he wrote.
“I have dealt with many things in my life, but the disappearance of my daughter and her mother is by far the most difficult thing I have ever had to navigate.”
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Bradshaw released a statement claiming she was innocent and that her involvement with the victim was solely online.
“On Tuesday, September 5, I received an email from a Jessicadean568@gmail.comadvising me ‘she’ has been trying to contact me for months on Facebook to inform me that Ms. Patterson had a child with Phillip,” Bradshaw wrote, according to Atlanta Black Star.
“I spoke to Phillip and he confirmed that he had a brief relationship with Ms. Patterson and it is possible that the child was his but he was not certain as a DNA test had not yet been done.” Bradshaw said Patterson searched for her on LinkedIn twice before the emails started, and she decided to reach out directly to discuss the possibility of her baby being Paulwell’s child.
In a statement, the Navy confirmed that Bradshaw was a petty officer assigned to a talent acquisition team in Miami and “takes all allegations of misconduct seriously.”