THE New York police yesterday named 42-year-old Joseph Kernizan as the suspect in the Saturday morning murder of Jamaican dancehall
deejay Captain Barkey and his girlfriend Tracy Bennett.
Last night, the New York police told the Jamaica Observer that Kernizan has a long rap sheet.
“He has 16 prior arrests,” Lieutenant John Grimpel told the Observer. The charges, Lt Grimpel said, include robbery, assault, forgery, criminal possession of a weapon, and fraud.
Lt Grimpel also said that Kernizan, who is Haitian, lives in Long Island and has two children with Bennett. He also said that Bennett had a restraining order on Kernizan.
Fifty-year-old Barkey (real name Wayne Hamilton) and 38-year-old Bennett were gunned down in the parking lot of the Holiday Motel in Bronx, New York, around 3:10 am.
Last night, Lt Grimpel said that they had video footage of Kernizan that captured by the hotel’s closed circuit TV.
Hamilton and Bennett were about to leave the motel in her white Toyota Camry when they were attacked.
“The killer was waiting when the couple emerged from the Holiday Motel around 3:10 am, and he blasted more than two dozen bullets at the helpless duo,” the New York Daily News reported witnesses and police as saying.
According to the Daily News, “Hamilton hopped from the passenger seat and tried to escape the hail of bullets that cut him down just outside the motel office”.
“The suspect then turned his pistol on the weeping Bennett as she stood next to her parked sedan, its motor still running,” the newspaper report added.
Both the Daily News and the New York Post reported witnesses as saying that Bennett pleaded for her life before she, too, was shot dead.
Yesterday, the New York Post reported that Hamilton had flown to La Guardia on Saturday night from Milwaukee, where he lived.
“He went straight to Bronx nightclub Memories, where he joined up with Bennett,” the Post story said, adding that friends reported that Bennett drove him to the motel.
The Post also reported a friend of Hamilton and fellow musician, as saying that the couple had been dating for about two years.
Captain Barkey was a veteran of the sound system circuit. He started deejaying with two Spanish Town sound systems — Stereo One and People’s Choice.
He had a few minor hits before topping local charts 16 years ago with Go Go Wine, after which he scored with Bun Fi Bun.
He eventually partnered with fellow deejay Wickerman (real name David Taylor) and the duo put out a number of hits, recording for giant dancehall producers King Jammys and Steelie and Clevie.