Claim 1: Unity Party hired Lucas Richard to kill Jessica Lloyd
Full Text: Liberian journalist Winston Blyden of Bana FM posted on his Facebook page claiming that the Unity Party (UP), one of the major opposition political parties in Liberia, hired Lucas Richard to kill Jessica Lloyd.
“OPPOSITION WHY? The report says Jessica Lloyd, who was alleged to have been killed by a foreign national called Lucas Richard, hired by the opposition Unity Party, is still alive. She was saved by a commercial Kehkeh rider.
The Keke rider was fortunate to be on the scene when Mr Richard tried to slaughter Jessica Lloyd. His intervention saved the life of Jessica Lloyd.
The opposition is so desperate that they are willing to kill peaceful Liberians just to make the government look ugly. We will continue to expose them as their wicked plans come to light. Watch out for more details.”
Blyden’s post generated 59 comments, a share, and eight reactions when our researcher commenced the check.
He is one of the senior staff members at Bana FM and the lead host of New Liberia.
Verification: Social Media platforms and news outlets across Liberia are flooded with the news of an American national identified as Lucas Richard, who is a missionary assigned to Liberia, attempting to slit off his ‘wife, Jessica B. Lloyd’s, throat.
The incident occurred in Caldwell, Bushord Island.
The victim, who is seeking medical attention at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, was reportedly rescued by motorcyclists after getting a deep cut in her neck.
According to our research, Richard has been in Liberia for quite a while, even though major access to his search on Google to establish when he took an assignment in the country has been blocked; see here.
Richard works as a missionary in Grand Cape Mount County.
TSM-Liberia listened to a live video posted by Freedom FM where Cynthia Lloyd, mother of Jessica, explained that her daughter and Richard have been in a relationship for a long time.
Cynthia disclosed that Jessica and Richard met when he went on a teaching mission, after which they conducted a traditional marriage while awaiting their court wedding.
Claim 2: Please pray for Creekside-supported missionaries Lucas and Lois Richard. Lucas was attacked and robbed in Liberia today. His phone and money were stolen, and their vehicle was damaged. We will add more details as we learn them. Thank you!”
Following the incident, Creekside Church posted a claim that has since been deleted.
The Stage Media Liberia team listened to various live interviews from the public relating to this claim.
In an interview with Spoon TV Live, an eyewitness explained that while sitting in front of her shop, she saw Richard disembark his vehicle and was looking under it.
She narrated that a few minutes later, a motorcyclist who was also using the road later discovered Richard trying to ‘slit’ off Jessica’s, who was already unconscious, throat.
According to her narration, the cyclist raised the alarm that claimed her and other community members’ attention.
The eyewitness, who did not mention her identity, said that while the cyclist was trying to rescue Jessica, Richards tried to stab him with the knife he was using to behead his wife.
In a joint interview with another cyclist who was injured, the cyclist disclosed that while using the road, he witnessed Richard hit the survivor on the head, take a knife, and attempt to behead her.
According to him, he immediately raised an alarm and, at the same time, tried to stop Richard from committing the crime.
The cyclists narrated that Richard attempted to stab him, but he successfully pushed him.
He noted that he successfully rescued Jessica and put her in a tricycle to be taken to the nearest hospital while ensuring that Richard did not escape.
According to the cyclist, “When the angry crowd wanted to harm Richard, I made sure he was protected and took him safely to the police.”
Richard has, however, denied the cyclist’s claim, and others have noted that Jessica was hit by the cyclist, who later tried to rob him.
According to him, after the cyclist committed the act, “he started calling his friends, telling them that I wanted to kill the girl, and in Liberia, once a motorcyclist does something, they are always right in the eyes of their friends.”
He narrated that his vehicle was damaged, which was also caused by the cyclist and other individuals interviewed.
Jessica, who spoke from the hospital in a social media interview, confirmed that Richard drugged her and attempted to behead her.
Her explanation detailed that she was rescued by the motorcyclist, which also contrasts Richard’s explanation and Creekside Church’s Facebook post that he (Richard) was robbed.
Conclusion: With all of the information gathered, journalist Blyden’s claim that Richard was hired by the opposition Unity Party is misleading.
Additionally, the context of the Church’s claim that Richard was robbed in Liberia is misleading.