A Winnipeg man goes on trial this week for first-degree murder in the 2016 slaying of former Sudburian Jennifer Barrett, whose decomposing remains were discovered in a barrel in the backyard of a residence.
Perez Adaryll Cleveland was arrested in December 2016 in Winnipeg and charged with 55 offences relating to a string a violent assaults from Aug. 14 to Sept. 27. It was while in custody on those charges that he was re-arrested and charged with Barrett's murder.
The U.S.-born Cleveland also used to live in Sudbury, where he accumulated a lengthy criminal record, including assault, assault with a weapon, threatening death, break and enter, and breach of probation, among others, dating back to August 1994 and as recently as April 2001. He is also the father of Barrett's teenage son, as well as several other children with other women.
Two women were also charged as accessories to the murder – Jessica Reid, 26, of Winnipeg and Holley Alyssa Sullivan, 30, of Calgary.
According to a Winnipeg Free Press story from late last year, Sullivan pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in jail for helping Cleveland dispose of Barrett's remains in the barrel.
The three woman were in an intimate relationship with Cleveland at the time of the murder, the story said, and all were being abused by him.
Sullivan wasn’t at home when Barrett was allegedly killed in the home in the summer of 2016, the Free Press story said, but she later told police Cleveland ordered her to dispose of Barrett’s body — and she did, because she was afraid of him.
She stayed awake for days on methamphetamine while she was trying to dispose of the body over the course of a week, court heard. She had panic attacks and became physically sick.
"Ms. Sullivan was abused in a very profound way by Mr. Cleveland, as were all of the other women in the house, both from a physical perspective, as well as a mental perspective," Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson said in court.
As she was led out of court after being found guilty, Sullivan apologized to Barrett's family for not helping her.
"I hope today you start to feel some closure for Jen’s passing, as I take responsibility for my role in what happened, and that eventually, someday, you can forgive me for my actions," Sullivan said in court.
Sudbury.com will be following developments in Cleveland's murder trial and will post updates as they come available.