(UK) Odessa Carey Jr (36) cut her mother’s head off with a knife and scissors. She put it in a shopping bag. She then took the head out in front of a family friend and gave it a kiss.
She originally beat her mother Odessa Snr (73) to death, last April, with a mallet. Most of the body was found in the bedroom, but her brain was discovered in the bathroom.
Carey is not fit to plead or stand trial because she is too unwell. Newcastle Crown court is holding what is known as a “trial of facts” in this case.
Link to what this means here
During the first hearing (6th March) the local paper The Chronicle followed live- (See full coverage here) (Warning graphic in places for some)
“The defendant was to be tried for the offence of murder. Had you been trying her for the offence of murder, you would have sworn an oath or affirmed that you would faithfully try the defendant and return a verdict of guilty or not guilty, according to the evidence.
“But in this case the defendant is not on trial for the offence of murder and that is because she is too unwell to face trial for a criminal offence.”Judge Paul Sloan QC
A jury of nine women and three men are told Carey is charged with murdering Odessa Carey snr between April 3 and 8 last year.
The following information became public
- Mrs Carey was face down on her bed when she was attacked.
- Mrs Carey’s head was removed in the bedroom, using knives and scissors.
- Her body was turned over and her abdomen cut open, a cross-shaped series of cuts to her abdomen had been made.
- Dental records used in identification.
- Not possible to be precise about time of death.
- Police went to the home and found blood on walls and pulled back the quilt on the bed and found a body without a head lying on its back.
- A head, in a bag, was found under the sink.
- There were at least eight separate impacts, some or all caused by the use of a weapon.
- Dr Mulcahy said: “In my opinion the cause of death is blunt force head injuries.”
“There is no doubt, therefore, that the head and the body were those of Odessa Carey snr.
“And, whilst there is no eye-witness evidence to this direct effect, the cumulative circumstantial evidence points to Odessa Carey, and to no other person, as having killed her mother, having then removed her head, taken the head with her in a bag, locking the house behind her, then hiding the head at the home of John Angus.”Prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC
She took her mother’s head to an allotment to show a friend she had seen earlier that day. CCTV had caught some of her journey with the bag.
Mr Lumley: “A little later, she went again to John Murray’s allotment, where she had been the previous day.
“He had been out to the pub and came back to his shed to find Odessa Carey there again.
“She was sitting in his shed, wiping blood from her hands and arms with a baby wipe.
“She had her bag with her. She spoke to John Murray and from the bag, she carefully took a parcel of sorts, the contents wrapped in a pillowcase and a towel, from which she produced a human head.”
“Beyond seeing that it was the head of a white woman, John Murray did not dwell on the contents.
“Odessa Carey spoke and kissed her mother’s forehead, before carefully re-wrapping the head in its shroud.”
Mr Lumley continues: “There is no correct way to react or to respond to such a shocking event.
“Indeed, John Murry was, perhaps, not best-equipped to deal with what he had seen. He had no phone. He did not know what to do.
“Odessa Carey left and John Murray went to the pub and told someone there what he had witnessed.”
That person later called police.
(Session has now ended until Monday 9th March, check back on The Chronicle for full updates and here for key points)
Details from Monday 9th hearing-
- Helmet worn camera footage is played in court showing Carey sitting quietly in the loft as an officer enters the loft and talks to her.
- PC Ivers says a police dog indicated there was blood present.
- Sarah Lilley, a forensic nurse practitioner, who examined Carey at the police station, said she had a small laceration to her wrist and healing injuries to her palms.
- Mr Newell says the absence of “arterial bleeding” suggests Mrs Carey “is likely to have been dead when the process of removing her head commenced”.
- In the bath in a basin were a mallet, knife and scissors and two further knives were on the bathroom floor.
- “It seems likely because of the basin in the bath, that Odessa Carey’s brain tissue was removed while her head was in the bath.”-Mr Newell
“I opened a cupboard door under the sink and within the void I found a bag for life which I removed and placed on the kitchen floor.
”In doing so I could see a dark red coloured fabric appeared to be wrapped around a curved object.
“I noticed the size and weight were consistent to that of a human head.”PC John Ivers
(If you check out the link it is very explicit in its description of the crime scene) https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/odessa-carey-murder-trial-live-17862049
Details from Tuesday 10th hearing-
- Jurors are being shown CCTV footage from Sunday April 7, including of Carey carrying bags.
- Det Sgt Steven Brown, the officer in charge of the case, is called to the witness box and says suspicion has not fallen on anyone else as being responsible for the death of Mrs Carey.
- Judge Paul Sloan tells jurors that prosecutors will close their case soon and that there will be no defence case, for reasons he will explain to them.
“Members of the jury we will break off as far as you are concerned.”
It’s likely at 1.45 you will hear closing addresses from prosecuting counsel and defence counsel.
“I hope to embark on summing up this afternoon. It’s unlikely you will retire to consider your verdict until tomorrow.”Judge Sloan
During the closing speech by prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC, Carey says from the dock: “It’s not me mam’s head, it’s not me mam.”
During the defence closing speech, Carey says “It wasn’t me mam’s body.”
Odessa Jr’s social media- https://www.facebook.com/odessa.carey.12
Odessa (mother/victims/ social media- https://www.facebook.com/odessa.dewar
Video of Odessa carrying her mother’s head in the shopping bag while walking down the street has been released:
It has now been reported that Odessa does not believe that she killed her mother.
Odessa answered the murder charge at the magistrate’s court hearing by saying: ‘Not my mam, someone else. Could it be investigated that my mam disappeared four years ago?’
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