Sylvester Ofori and Barbara during their happy days
US-based Ghanaian man of God Sylvester Ofori, who reportedly shot and killed his wife Barbara Tommey, has appeared in court to face trial for the heinous act.
He has been charged with first degree murder with a firearm and risks life imprisonment without parole for the offence if found guilty.
A video of him in court, which was captured by Wesh 2 News during the weekend, showed him wearing a face mask and looking all subdued and muffled.
Prosecutors told the court the heinous crime was captured on CCTV camera, which led to the identification and subsequent arrest of Sylvester Ofori at his private residence as the killer.
Sylvester, 35, allegedly shot Barbara Tommey, 27, seven times to death outside an Orlando credit union where she works in the American city of Orlando, Florida on Tuesday around 9:00 am.
He has since been arrested and kept in police custody at the Orange County Jail.
The pastor and self-proclaimed prophet threatened to kill his wife during an argument the day before, according to court affidavit.
A video of that heated argument which had gone viral in Ghana captured angry Sylvester telling Barbara’s brother, “If I don’t kill your sister, then I am fake”.
Barbara’s sister showed detectives the video, in which Ofori threatened to kill Barbara while wearing the same shirt he wore when he shot and killed her, the affidavit said.
Barbara’s sister and brother-in-law told police the couple were divorcing and estranged, and they identified Ofori as the shooter from a surveillance photo.
That morning, bank patrons who had been waiting for the bank to open when the shooting occurred told officers Ofori was holding a gun while following Barbara as she walked toward the bank.
Barbara knocked on the doors for someone to let her in as Ofori continued towards her. He was within feet of her when he shot her once and she collapsed, the affidavit said.
As Barbara was lying on the ground, Ofori shot her in the head a few more times, witnesses told police.
After shooting, Ofori walked back to his car, a rented Dodge Journey, and drove away “as though nothing happened,” witnesses told police.
Barbara was pronounced dead at the Orlando Regional Medical Center that morning and Ofori subsequently arrested on Tuesday.
The pastor at Floodgates of Heaven International Ministries in Parramore advertised himself as a prophet and motivational speaker on Facebook. In the weeks leading up to the shooting, more than 60,000 followers on his Facebook page watched him post photos and captions centring on personal conflict.
In a post dated August 11, he wrote, “Don’t believe your neighbour or trust your friend. Be careful what you say even to your husband or wife. #Micah 7:5.”
The day before the shooting, he posted a photo to his page reading, “One thing ppl gotta understand about extremely kind, nice, loving people is that their other side is just as EXTREME.”
By Francis Addo