PAIN & STRESS - Heartbreaking story of how Andrea Lowe-Garwood’s murder has impacted her only child
Tears welled in Andre Williams' eyes and pain was evident in his voice as he spoke about his mother, Andrea Lowe-Garwood, who was murdered as she worshipped in church on January 31, 2021.
"I am an only child, [I have] no sister or brother to share my pain with. It is very hard on me," Williams told THE WEEKEND STAR.
A university student, Williams has been forced to take a leave of absence since his mother's death. His life has not been the same.
"I am all stressed out. I am a sickle cell patient and stress is not good for it. I am a civil engineering student and have had to postpone my final year. My life and everything I did in my life had an input from my dear mother," Williams, 29, said.
Two persons -- Dwight Bingham and Leon Hines -- have been convicted of her murder. A third person, Javan 'Janoy' Garwood, Lowe-Garwood's stepson, was freed in the Trelawny Circuit Court on Thursday.
Bingham, who was allegedly hired to kill Lowe-Garwood, pleaded guilty to her murder. Prosecutors said that he shot her four times as she sat inside Agape Christian Fellowship Church in Trelawny. He then fled from the church and hopped into a waiting car that was being driven by Hines. His cellular phone fell to the ground as he fled the scene.
The Crown sought to rely on Bingham's testimony in the case against Garwood, who has been accused of paying for the hit. He pleaded not guilty to murder and accessory to murder before the fact. Prosecutors told the court that it sought to get Bingham to testify in the case against him but were unsuccessful. The Crown also said that the digital evidence was insufficient to prove that Garwood was guilty.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes then instructed the foreman of the jury to return a not-guilty verdict.
Williams told THE WEEKEND STAR that his mother, who he described as a loving, God-fearing woman "had no enemies and never tried to hurt anyone".
"I don't remember her swearing. My mother didn't know how to curse a bad word," he said as he recalled the day when his life was changed forever. Williams said he was home when he got a call that his mother had fainted at church. Unknown to him, something worse had happened.
"I left my home and headed for the church. When I arrived, I saw the ambulance driving off. The crowd I saw on the outside made me suspicious, but no where in my mind could I think of her being killed. I drove to the hospital where I saw her lifeless body on a stretcher. I can't remember what I said or did, I know I started bawling," Williams said as he wiped tears from his eyes.
Hines, the getaway driver, was sentenced to six years in prison on March 25, 2021 after pleading guilty to illegal possession of firearm and accessory after the fact to murder.
Bingham, the hitman, will be sentenced on July 25.
"He should get what the law prescribes," said Williams of the sentence that he hopes the court will impose. He, however, feels that the harshest penalty should be reserved for the mastermind.
"That one and only person who had a motive to kill my mother should suffer in worse way," said Williams.