Police fear suspect in double murder outside Bronx hotel may make break for Haiti

Joseph Kernizan, accused of murdering ex-girlfriend Tracy Bennett and reggae singer Wayne Hamilton, is put on no-fly list as manhunt continues.


Tracy Bennett and Wayne Hamilton  were murdered outside a seedy motel. Joseph Kernizan is being hunted in the love-triangle double slaying.

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Joseph Kernizan

The News reported that Hamilton, a reggae singer, mocked romantic rival Kernizan in song.

The jilted ex-boyfriend who allegedly gunned down the mother of his kids and her beau at a seedy Bronx motel was placed on a no-fly list as a manhunt for him continues.

Police believe Joseph Kernizan, 42, may try to take off for Haiti or Florida, where he has connections, after allegedly murdering Tracy Bennett, 38, and popular reggae singer Wayne Hamilton, 50, outside the Holiday Motel about 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, a source with knowledge of the investigation said.

“He’s on a no-fly list. We are concerned about him fleeing the jurisdiction,” the source said.

Police have also put information about multiple vehicles belonging to Kernizan into a database in the hope he will be spotted on the road and nabbed, a police source said.

Kernizan, described as 5-feet-5 and 220 pounds, is the father of Bennett’s two younger children and was “obsessed” with her, growing enraged when she tried to break away and sought an order of protection against him, a friend of hers told the Daily News.

Kernizan was arrested in August after allegedly violating a protection order at the Elmont, L.I., home he and Bennett shared, court records show.

The married Hamilton, whose wife at home in Milwaukee did not know about his relationship with Bennett, also may have baited his alleged killer in a 2010 song called “Nah Lef Joe.” A friend of Bennett’s told the Daily News the song was about Bennett and Kernizan, although other followers of the reggae/dancehall genre say it may have been about cheating in general.

In a photo of Hamilton and Bennett taken in May at Mingles Cafe in the Bronx, he was decked out in a black suit and had his arm around her. Bennett wore a short purple, black and silver dress and pumps.

Friends said the pair secretly dated for five years.

Sources, including Hamilton’s longtime music partner David (Wickerman) Taylor, said Hamilton and Kernizan had feuded in the past when Hamilton came to New York to play shows. Wickerman said Kernizan once crashed a car into a vehicle carrying Hamilton and Bennett.

“Everyone knew this was a bad situation,” said one New York-based reggae deejay, who did not wish to be identified. “People knew that this was going to end badly.”

With Shane Dixon Kavanaugh



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