2012-03-31

Devon Hugh Saunders "speaks out" about Shernell Pierre


Honestly, I don't have anything to do with Shernell Pierre.

I feel I need to put that bit out now, because within days of her death I was in a social situation where I learned some possible insider facts about the case, which because a bit of a media firestorm.

Then, a commenter on this blog identified who the police agree was her killer: Devon Hugh Saunders. Earlier this month when he was arrested, a minor media firestorm returned.

Which takes us to the events of last night. A few beers into a pretty decent yet uneventful night, I end up standing near a young woman who's inexplicably talking to her table-mates about the case from a unique perspective: she's a close friend of Hugh Devon Saunders. And she's in the middle of giving his side of the story.

So here's what I was able to determine:

  1. Saunders has privately admitted to family members that he was indeed Shernell's killer
  2. Saunders knew she was on shift and when it ended, and confronted her in the Misericordia Hospital parking lot

    [He probably either killed or incapacitated her there or near there (are there security cameras at the Miz parking lot?) and drove the car to its final location. Directly or indirectly isn't clear, nor how Pierre herself was murdered. All we know is that he got to her right as she was getting off work. -ed]
  3. The reason for the confrontation and the eventual murder? Money. Apparently, when they were together Saunders loaned Pierre very significant sums of money: tens of thousands of dollars worth. When the two of them broke up, she didn't return the money. Quite to the contrary, she kept it. But she did more than that: she taunted him. She constantly told him that he was never getting it back, she was keeping it, that she was going to spend it for fun and on her new man, and that there was nothing he could do.

    It turns out there was something he could do.

  4. Soon after Pierre's murder, the police strongly suspected Saunders as the culprit. As a precaution, his passport was seized and he was placed on airline watch lists to ensure he couldn't leave the country (they knew that if he managed to make it back to his native Jamaica, he'd vanish off the face of the earth and they'd never see him again). Numerous family members were questioned, with particular interest to if Saunders had a history of aggressive behaviour (he had) and if he was known to get violent with women in particular (he hadn't).


I would like to say that I'm done with this file, but the particulars of this case have a weird habit of falling into my lap. Why this case? It beats me (and my editor), but there it is.

I never caught the girls name, nor do I suppose I was in much of a position to ask. The great thing about online anonymity is that she certainly wasn't saying something in my presence in the hope it would be overheard and published: like the original case I therefore have no way to followup on this information, or even to confirm the identity of the teller. Obviously a close friend of the murderer is an unreliable source of information (for an unrelated case I recently said exactly the same thing about close relatives), but the money thing is new and does provide a little extra motivation if true.

This also, alas, does not make Shernell Pierre out to be a little angel. Could this by why those purporting to be her family took to this blog to decry claims she was a homewrecker? The original post wasn't even hard on her, it sounded like she was dating a man and left him when he turned out to be married. The homewrecker stuff was added in by her family later. The money bit may in fact supplant the homewrecker stuff: if Saunders was infuriated by this bitch (yes, the girl at the bar at one point referred to Pierre as such) taking his money and then rubbing it in his face, it's not necessary for there to even be another man. If there is another man, she may have used this money from Saunders in part to marry him. As Chris Rock said about O.J. Simpson, I'm not saying he should have killed her. But I understand.