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Missing woman’s mobile answered when called

A school friend of a missing woman told the Supreme Court that her call to the woman’s mobile phone was answered after she was reported missing.

Jah-Kinte Williams, who took the stand in the murder trial of Kamal Worrell, told the jury that she called Chavelle Dillon-Burgess’s number on April 30, 2020 after her disappearance was announced by police.

She said that someone had answered the phone and that she heard “rustling” before the call ended.

Ms Williams added that when she tried the number again it went straight to voicemail.

Mr Worrell has denied allegations of murdering Ms Dillon-Burgess, the mother of his child, on an unknown date between April 10 and June 11, 2020.

He has also denied a charge of wounding Ms Dillon-Burgess, a charge of common assault related to an incident on June 1, 2019, and six counts of common assault related to an incident on November 14, 2018.

Ms Williams said that she met Ms Dillon-Burgess when they both attended Bermuda College in 2016.

She said the two became close friends, with Ms Williams becoming the godmother of Ms Dillon-Burgess and Mr Worrell’s son, and that the pair’s children would often play together.

Ms Williams said that she was aware of the rocky nature of Ms Dillon-Burgess and Mr Worrell’s relationship.

During cross-examination by Mr Worrell, representing himself, she said that would often hear them arguing while she was on the phone with Ms Dillon-Burgess or in the background of Ms Dillon-Burgess’s voice messages.

She added that at one point she heard what sounded like a threat of violence.

Ms Williams said that, at some point, Mr Worrell refused to let Ms Dillon-Burgess see their child and told the court that she often accompanied Ms Dillon-Burgess to Family Court when she fought to see her child.

She said that Ms Dillon-Burgess was eventually given permission under a court order to see her child, but Mr Worrell still refused to let her near their son.

She added that Ms Dillon-Burgess contacted police and the Department of Child and Family Services to complain but they both said there was nothing that could be done.

Mr Worrell suggested during cross-examination that she did not hear him give a threat of violence.

But she insisted: “I remember the threat. I remember the anger in your voice when she called.”

Chrisann McDermott, another friend of Ms Dillon-Burgess, also gave evidence yesterday.

Ms McDermott, a Jamaican national who testified during a video call over Zoom, said that the pair were close friends before she had a “falling out” before Ms Dillon-Burgess moved to Bermuda in 2011.

She said that the two rekindled their relationship and resumed talking “almost every day”.

Ms McDermott said that their calls always revolved around Ms Dillon-Burgess’s relationship with Mr Worrell and his treatment of her.

She said that Ms Dillon-Burgess made several allegations of violence and abuse against Mr Worrell throughout their relationship. She added that she saw a photograph of Ms Dillon-Burgess after Mr Worrell “mashed her face up”.

She added that she was aware Mr Worrell refused to let her see their child and that their son was the only thing that prevented her from leaving the island without telling Mr Worrell.

Ms McDermott said that the last time she heard from Ms Dillon-Burgess was around April 2020.

She explained: “She said she’d call me back, but she didn’t call me back. She went MIA.”

Ms McDermott said that it was uncommon for Ms Dillon-Burgess not to talk to her.

She insisted: “If she didn’t text me, she’d call me.”

Under cross-examination, she told Mr Worrell that she did not know anything about Ms Dillon-Burgess’s husband, Kimberley Burgess, because “the only thing she talked about was you”.

Mr Worrell suggested that he did not let Ms Dillon-Burgess near their son because she threw a rock at him as he held their child.

He also suggested that Ms Dillon-Burgess was prepared to leave without her son.

But Ms McDermott insisted that neither of these were true.

She said: “She never planned to leave the child.”

The trial continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case