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12.08.2006 International

Pregnant teen is accused gunslinger

By Jamaica Observer
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POLICE yesterday took into custody a pregnant teenager who, while accused of taking the life of at least three persons, has given life to two of her own - a 10-month-old and a two-year-old - in a bizarre case.

Described as the "most wanted female" in Jamaica, Sasha Payne, 17, of Greenwich Park Road, Hannah Town in the capital city's depressed west end, has been linked by police to three killings in West Kingston.

Police said residents of the Hannah Town area claimed that Payne was a feared gang leader, despite her youthful appearance as a mere slip of a girl.

She is wanted for questioning in connection with several other serious crimes, as well as the shooting deaths of the three persons.

"A very dangerous girl," one investigator said after emerging from an interview with Payne at the Denham Town Police Station where she was detained yesterday.

"There is all likelihood that more charges may be slapped onto an already serious catalogue of crimes that she has committed," said Deputy Superintendent Colin Pinnock.

"I can tell you, although she is so young, this girl is facing serious charges that involve shooting with intent and murder," Pinnock said.

The police reported that at about 5:00 am, a unit from the Special Anti-Crime Task Force went on an operation in the Fleet Street area of Southside in downtown Kingston where an apartment was searched and Payne found.

Residents earlier this year had pointed her out as a gang leader and called on the police to issue a warrant for her arrest, but Payne had strenuously insisted she was not involved in any wrongdoing.

At the Denham Town Police Station, Pinnock disclosed that witnesses were unwilling to come forward to give statements to the police because they feared for their lives.

"I do not know if that will change now that she is in custody," the senior cop said.

"Such is the fear she generates among citizens at 17 years old. The people do not want to give information because they fear her," Pinnock added.

Payne, an intense look in her eyes and a slight bulge in her stomach betraying her three-month pregnancy, allegedly told interrogators how she got involved with gunmanship.

"De bwoy dem used to trouble me around where me live, and de bad bwoy dem defend me. Because of that after a while me just join dem," she was quoted as saying.
Eager reporters were barred from interviewing the teenaged girl.

Pinnock said Payne was likely to face an identification parade as investigations continue into the allegations of her involvement in the cases of shootings.

Posted by: Richard "Richie Rich" Davis - Modernghana Correspondent

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