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Murder victim’s friends welcome conviction

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Friends of murder victim Kumi Harford welcomed news that his killer has been convicted, and paid tributes to a man they remember as a “respectful and humble” person rather than a gangster.

However, some of those friends expressed frustration that killer Antonio Myers' accomplice in the crime remains at large.

Mr Harford, 30, of Mission Lane, Pembroke, was described during Myers' trial as a high-ranking member of the 42 gang. Myers was described by prosecutors as a high ranking member of the rival Middletown gang.

He was said to have acted in revenge after another 42 member named David Cox insulted a Middletown member's mother.

Two guns were used in the slaying, which prosecutors say was carried out by Myers and at least one accomplice. Those weapons have been linked to eight other murders and attempted murders, but they have not been traced, and Myers' accomplice remains at large.

Despite the evidence of Mr Harford's gang links, his friends described him yesterday as a good man whose loss has devastated those close to him.

Smoo Hunt, 25, said: “I am pleased someone got convicted. I'm tired of it; murders and can't solve them. Kumi was my close friend/brother, and a person to look to for advice. He watched me grow up with his brother and other friends who have been murdered.”

Making reference to the loss of other murder victims Kenwandee [Wheels] Robinson, Perry Puckerin Jr and Jamiko LeShore, Mr Hunt said: “It still hurts me to know they are gone, they were my family/friends that looked out for me.”

A 28-year-old woman who also knew Mr Harford said: “How I knew Kumi was years of friendship. I grew up around them boys up St Monica's Road. Not actually living up; there I have my aunt who did stay up there and still is at present.”

The woman, who asked that her name not be published, explained: “My relationship with Kumi exploded into a wonderful friendship as we grew up getting to know each other personally. I made him my son's Godpa as he was truly a real man. Loved children and to then have one of his own was even the most precious gift to him.”

Mr Harford was married with a 21-month-old son when he was killed.

His friend said: “He was a very respectable individual who, yes, had his shares of violence like many other young men in Bermuda. But still, the way he carried his self is something that can be very memorable to the loved ones. To know him was truly to me a honour.

“Kumi was a well rounded person. Respectful, humble and true to his self. The impact his murder has caused on his family and friends has been totally devastating. His son has to now grow up without a father. His mother will never see what his life could have progressed to be. Its the little things in life that matter and I'm sure those very little things he done mattered tremendously in his home and community.”

The friend said of the Myers case: “I think justice has been served.” However, she questioned how hard he had been pressed by detectives to spill details of who was involved in the other killings linked to the guns used by him and his accomplice. Those killings include the deaths of Mr Robinson, Mr Puckerin and Shane Minors.

“Myers has been convicted of murdering Kumi Harford but I bet if detectives or prosecutors were harder in telling him that he would take the fall for the other murders, more people would be picked up in relation to the murders,” she suggested.

“Myers won't want to go down for something he has not done. Therefore, the opportunity arises for him to come clean of [which] other people were handling that gun.”

A male 21-year-old friend of Mr Harford, who also asked that his name not be published, said: “They took away a father, brother, cousin, Godpa. They have taken so much away from us. They have killed so many innocent young men; Kenwandee Robinson, Kumi Harford, Shane Minors, Perry Puckerin, Colford Ferguson.

“So many have died for nothing. Through all this I've lost three cousins and two of my best friends. Yes, I'm glad that Myers is locked up and was found guilty. It's about damn time.”

Murdered: Kumi Harford
Photo by Mark Tatem Antonio Myers is escorted from supreme court after he was found guilty for the murder of Kumi Harford.

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Published March 30, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated March 30, 2011 at 9:31 am)

Murder victim’s friends welcome conviction

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