Carlene King, the mother of 15-year-old murder victim Joshua Andrews was unable to attend his funeral yesterday but sent an emotional final message to her son and mourners during the service at the Transport and Industrial Workers’ Union (TIWU) Hall in Laventille.
According to sources, King, 47, is an outpatient of the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital and is behind bars for the 2007 murder of her niece La Toya King.
Newsday understands she was allowed to see Joshua’s body during a private viewing at the Simpson’s Funeral Home before the funeral and passed on her final message to his guardian and aunt Leandra Clarke.
Speaking before a densely packed auditorium, an emotional Clarke relayed her sister-in-law’s message and recalled her own time with Joshua whom she referred to as her adopted son and described him as a “lovable pest” who brought joy and excitement to her home. “He always loved his belly,” she said.
“He enjoyed eating, playing cards and enjoying life. Even though he is gone from our lives, I know he would have wanted you, his classmates, never to give up on your dreams.
I have a message from his mother who could not be here today. ‘We love you and we miss you. There are those who are always thoughtful, helpful and kind and you are always these things combined. Some may forget you now that you are gone, but we still remember you no matter how long.’ This is from Carlene King, and Matthew, Marcus and Martin.“
Newsday spoke to Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson who confirmed the viewing took place under the watch of prison and police officers who escorted King and her sons Marcus and Matthew who are also in prison, to view the body. Wilson said such requests were not uncommon and the viewing was incident-free.
Acting principal of the Morvant Laventille Secondary School Emmylene Hassanalli said Andrews’ death was tragic and shook the school and the community to its core.
She said while the wounds remain fresh, she was optimistic in due time the students would heal from the scars brought on by the incident.
“One of the boys in the car when the incident occurred told his mother that he would like to attend a school where he didn’t have to hear gunshots,” Hassanalli said.
“That is the reality we are going to have to be living with for the next few weeks. I know that at this time we are all afraid and we are not to sure if we want to go back, but we must live there during the school hours.”