Tactical

Sailor arrested over alleged murder-for-hire plot in Jamaica

Jamaican authorities arrested and charged a U.S. Navy sailor for allegedly orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the deaths of a mother and baby, Jamaican law enforcement officials said.

Leoda Bradshaw, a Navy culinary specialist, was taken into custody on Oct. 5 by Jamaican authorities for the alleged plot, a spokesperson for Navy Recruiting Command confirmed. Bradshaw allegedly arranged for three local men to kidnap and kill Toshyna Patterson and Patterson’s 10-month-old daughter, Sarayah Paulwell, who were reportedly connected to a Jamaican politician.

“Both … were brutally murdered and their bodies burned and disposed of,” Jamaica Constabulary Force deputy commissioner of police Fitz Bailey said during an October 13 press conference.

The incident allegedly occurred after Bradshaw learned the child’s father was Jamaican politician Phillip Paulwell, who Bradshaw says she also had a relationship and child with.

“It is one of the most painful investigations for the team since recent times,” Bailey added.

Bailey said Bradshaw faces two counts of conspiracy to murder, two counts of conspiracy to kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of murder. Three others were also charged alongside the sailor, he added.

“The Navy takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and is fully cooperating with appropriate investigative and law enforcement authorities,” the Navy Recruiting Command spokesperson said. “The matter is currently under investigation by Jamaican authorities and the Navy Criminal Investigative Service.”

The Jamaican police said the mother and daughter were first reported missing on Sept. 9.

On a social media account appearing to belong to Bradshaw, the sailor posted on Sept. 10 that she too had a child with the member of the Jamaican parliament, but claimed she had “absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance” of Patterson and her daughter. Bradshaw also noted in the post that she contacted Patterson earlier in September about the relationship.

Prosecutors said Bradshaw arrived in Jamaica on Sept. 6 and communicated with the three now-accused men to hatch a plan against Patterson, according to the Jamaica Observer and Loop Jamaica News.

“The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me as I grappled with the abduction of my daughter and her mother,” Phillip Paulwell, the Jamaican politician, said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I have been in constant dialogue with the police and cooperated fully with the investigation.”

Bradshaw enlisted in the Navy in July 2020, according to a service record shared with Military Times. After training at Naval Technical Training Command, Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia, Bradshaw served between November 2020 and June 2021 with Electronic Attack Squadron 134 at Whidbey Island, Washington. In June 2021, she transferred to the Naval Reserve Center in Miami, Florida, where she worked before joining the Navy Talent Acquisition Group, also in Miami.

Bradshaw is scheduled to return to court on December 1, according to NBC News.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media



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