Cold Hearted Killer Rushane Barnett Baptized in Prison

Two months after being sentenced to serve five life sentences for the murder of his family members in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon, convicted killer Rushane Barnett has decided to give his life to the Lord.

The 23-year-old was reportedly baptised during a ceremony held at the Tower Street Correctional Centre where he is being kept.

"We made him know say once he comes into God's family, he is no longer condemned. We don't preach and teach condemnation. Society might condemn you. But in the Word, once you live in God, you are not condemned. But if you live in sin, you are. So we kinda bring it across to him in such a way that he came to a point where he said 'I surrender'," a well-placed source said.

The source described the occasion as "something else" as the quintuple murderer "sobbed a little" before surrendering his life.

"(He) never really cried but you could feel the sorrows in his heart," the source told the news team via telephone on Thursday.

Barnett, 23, was sentenced to life in prison in October for murdering his cousin Kemesha Wright, 31, and her four children. Their bodies were discovered in their Cocoa Piece home in Clarendon with chop wounds and the throats slashed on June 21. Barnett, who hails from Wilson Run, Trelawny, will have to serve 61 years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

The massacre shocked the island as many labelled Barnett a monster. However, the source disclosed that Barnett testified strongly about the case and spoke about what happened to him.

"It was not him, but it is him. He was just the vessel used to carry out this act. He said, 'Listen church, mi cyah believe. Mi surprise all miself. Mi cyah believe mi would a do something like this'. It was like he was saying he was overtaken by spirits so they ended up have to pray over him before he was baptised," the source revealed.

Barnett is the 42nd inmate to be baptised since January, with the majority of them serving life sentences. The source also added that "Barnett was now in his right mind" after spending several weeks in counselling with the prison chaplain. The source also stated that the baptism was attended by everyone inside the prison.

"As a matter of fact the baptism was already started and he sent word that he wanted to come and baptised, so the officer had to go and escort him. That was the situation," the source said.

The individual said that when inmates give their heart to the Lord, they receive teaching about the Word for them to understand what they are getting into. The chaplain also provides biblical and psychosocial counselling to ensure inmates fully understand the step they are taking.

"Sometimes some of these guys would accept say yes they want to serve the Lord, but then at the end of day they were in a moment where everything is going in a particular way, so you just want to be a part of the 'fever'," the source said.

Upon hearing news of Barnett's baptism, Gwendolyn McKnight, the mother and grandmother of the deceased, was overjoyed.

"He was baptised? Hallelujah Jesus! Hmm, I always tell myself say because I forgive him, I hope God speak through him and hope he change his lifestyle, and know what he did was so wrong to his own flesh and blood who cared for him. I just wish him all the best in there," McKnight said.

Defence attorney Tameka Harris, who represented Barnett at his trial, also expressed joy.

"If this is true, I am happy that he has turned himself over to the Lord," Harris said.

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