Thursday 15th December, 2005

 

Man to hang for Blue Basin murder as young accomplice jailed for 7 years

 
 
 
 
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By Denyse Renne

A 28-year-old man charged with murdering his 16-year-old cousin has been sentenced to hang, while his friend will serve seven years’ imprisonment for the murder.

Marcus Daniel was sentenced to hang yesterday by Justice Herbert Volney, after a guilty verdict was delivered by a 12-member jury, which had deliberated for over two hours.

He was jointly charged with Osei Lazare with murdering Suzette Gibson, on the night of January 23, 2002, at a secluded area in Blue Basin, Diego Martin.

However, after the death sentences were read to both men and they were being led away from the prisoners’ dock, Lazare’s attorney, Israel Khan, SC, told Volney, “Accused number one (Lazare) was 17 when the murder happened. He cannot be hanged.”

Daniel told the court he had nothing to say in a plea for leniency and was led out of court.

But while Lazare was being ushered out, a stern-sounding Khan said: “He has no previous convictions and was 17 years at the time, and was only aiding and abetting. I ask that you consider this and not sentence him to the State’s pleasure.”

But Volney told Khan he needed to set “some punishment, even if it is to set a time for the matter to be brought up for review.”

Khan suggested a four-year sentence review.

When asked his opinion on the matter, State prosecutor Alexander Prince said a 25-year period would not be not unreasonable, as the Court of Appeal had suggested in past cases.

But Volney dismissed this suggestion, saying the 25-year sentence was only for “the most heinous crimes, and this is not one of them, given the status of this case.”

In his submissions, Prince told the court Daniel stabbed Gibson more than 20 times after she slapped away his hand while he was touching her.

In his defence, Daniel said he was drunk and had smoked a cigarette with marijuana and crack cocaine.

He also said he was listening to rock music and when Gibson slapped his hand away, he saw a dark figure in front her and started “firing stabs.”

Khan then referred to convicted Westmoorings killer Chuck Attin, in whose sentence review his defence lawyers said Attin found himself with the wrong company and lacked the maturity to say something.

Noting that Lazare was not known to the police and was “more a fool than a criminal,” Khan said, “He is stupid, being in such company.

“I agree that a message needs to be sent, but this is an emotional case and I think that a manslaughter verdict is appropriate.”

Agreeing that Lazare “is a fool and he allowed himself to be in such a position,” Volney said he respected the jury’s verdict.

He told Lazare, “You, being a young person, have been found guilty of murder and will detained at the court’s pleasure for a period of seven years.

“You are unlikely to be a threat to society. The court will monitor your progress to see if you are doing something of progress with your life.”

Volney said Lazare would be brought before the court in four years, at which point, “depending on what progress (has been) made, we will see whether you will serve the remaining seven years.”

Afterwards, Gibson’s father Alvin said he was thankful that the trial was over and the verdict was a fair one.

“I have never cried since the trial and now I can be the same,” he said.

“It was rough and surprising, knowing that my nephew killed my daughter. I never expected that.”

Adding that he was pleased with the work done by Alexander and complainant Insp George Olliverie, Gibson said he was looking forward to getting back to life.

Daniel was represented by attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, and Owen Hinds Jr.

 

 

 

 

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