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Jamaican preacher accused of overseeing human sacrifices in his church dies in police car crash

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The Jamaican cult leader, who was recently arrested together with some of his congregants for allegedly killing two people in a human sacrifice ritual ceremony, died in a car crash on Monday, the Caribbean nation’s police said.

According to the Independent, Monday’s fatal crash occurred when police were escorting Kevin Smith to Kingston for formal charges to be brought against him for the killings which he allegedly oversaw in his Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries church. The suspect and the police were headed to the Caribbean nation’s capital city from Montego Bay.

Police sources said Smith, 39, and three members of the police team sustained injuries from the car crash and were transported to a hospital for treatment. The suspect and a police constable, however, later died from their injuries.

“What we know is that the two suspects involved in the double murder investigation in St James were being taken to Kingston in two vehicles and being escorted by police officers. Based on the account given by the pilot vehicle, there was a crashing sound and they realised that the (other) vehicle overturned,” Stephanie Lindsay, Senior Superintendent of Police, told Jamaica Observer.

Authorities arrested Smith and 41 of his congregants for allegedly killing two people during a human sacrifice ritual ceremony in his church on October 17, Face2Face Africa reported. And per the Mirror, the deceased self-acclaimed prophet had told his congregation there was going to be a “great flood” prior to the killings.

Smith and the other suspects allegedly slit the throats of the deceased victims. The first victim was a 39-year-old woman identified as Tanecka Gardner. The deceased office worker’s friends told Jamaica Observer Gardner had been packing up “essentials” the weeks prior to her killing after Smith informed his congregants there was going to be a flood and they’ll be boarding an ark.

Three people who were also “sacrificed” sustained life-threatening injuries, while another person who fired at police officers when they responded to the scene was also shot. Upon entry, officers found naked men and animals, and they had been reportedly lined up for the sacrifice.

Authorities had also said they were looking into abuse allegations reportedly committed against some of the 14 children they found in the church. The boys were frequently seen with Smith. “There is information about molestation. It is a part of the investigation,” Jamaica’s Assistant Police Commissioner Clifford Chambers said.

The accused prophet allegedly informed his congregation a “bloodline pollution caused by witchcraft” was the cause of evil sex dreams, Mirror reported. As a result, Smith instructed his congregation to come to his Montego Bay church dressed in white. He also told them to leave their phones behind and wrap them with tin foil.

A congregant who reportedly managed to sneak a phone into the church during the ritual ceremony called the police to report what was happening. The police also said there would have been more casualties if they hadn’t intervened.

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