Man stabs common-law wife, stepson and stepdaughter

By Marion Ali
Assistant Editor

A little girl, age 12, her brother ,14, and mother were viciously stabbed by her stepfather as they slept at their house in Belize City, not even 100 yards from a police checkpoint, early Tuesday morning.

Police say the girl, Veril Morris, was sleeping on the floor beside her mother, Nikita Smith, 31 at the Mayflower Street house sometime around 5:30 Tuesday morning, when her stepfather, Mark Rhaburn, allegedly began stabbing her mother in the head and then hit her on the head with a cement block, rendering her unconscious. When he was done with Smith, the man then reportedly turned on the little girl and stabbed her in the head and right ear. He also hit her with the cement block on her face. Her screams woke up her brother, who was sleeping in a nearby room, and he too was stabbed when he tried to defend his sister and mother.

The children ran upstairs to their grandmother’s house for help and the grandmother called out to other relatives who were nearby to help the wounded family. The bloody knife, and a cement block, which Rhaburn is believed to have used in the attack, were left at the scene.

On Thursday, Nikita Smith told the Reporter that there was nothing that she can point to that triggered the assault, except for an addiction problem that her common-law husband picked up a year ago. That was when he started to do things which caused her to move out of his Hattieville home last November, after seven years with him. She relocated to Mayflower Street with her two children. After some months, she said Rhaburn came seeking a second chance at the relationship after he acknowledged his faults. She said that he would go for days at a time and when he returned, he would sleep for hours.

Smith said Rhaburn came home around 3:30 Tuesday morning and she told him she would not sleep beside him because she didn’t know where he was coming from. She said she went on the floor in the hall to sleep with her daughter, and that Rhaburn made a few rounds across the hall to go shower and to drink water. She said he spoke to her pleasantly when she questioned him what he was doing.
Two hours later when she had fallen asleep, however, Smith and her two children were the subject of the knife attack.

Eyewitnesses say Rhaburn Sr., ran through bushes at the back of the yard to flee the scene through an abandoned lot.
The victims have all been treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
The little girl, Verril Morris, will be out of school until her face heals up.
Police are trying to locate Mark Rhaburn.

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