Jamaica Observer: By Alicia Dunkley-Willis — A man who was Friday slapped with two life sentences for the 2019 killing of a Negril, Westmoreland, couple, while declaring that he was not seeking “no sorry fah”, hurled insults at Supreme Court Justice Courtney Daye labelling him “a big prejudiced judge bwoy”.
Jermaine Levy — who was found guilty on September 2 this year on one count of murder and one count of manslaughter for the deaths of Osmond Richards and his wife, Italian Patrizia Bezoa Richards, at their home in West End, Negril — launched an attack on the judge during the sentencing exercise which saw him being handed the first life sentence for the murder of Osmond Richards, for which he will serve 27 years, and the second life sentence of 25 years for the manslaughter charge for Richard’s wife.
The sentences will, however, run concurrently, making it so that he will serve the longest of the two sentences only.
The 34-year-old Levy, who is originally from Sligoville in St Catherine, will, however, be eligible for parole after serving 27 years for the murder count, Justice Daye said. On the manslaughter count the judge said, while there is no provision in the statute for parole for manslaughter charges, he would recommend that Levy spend 25 years before parole. Levy received a discount of three years for time spent in custody since his arrest. The judge deducted the three years from a starting point of 30 years to arrive at 27 years.
On Friday, the first sign that there would be trouble from Levy came when the judge asked him to confirm the court’s records relating to his three previous convictions.
“Mi a tell yuh seh mi nuh remember. Anything weh yuh seh, a so it go,” Levy, sporting a red patterned shirt, his hair in wild plaits, his heavily soiled feet hanging from his slippers, spat from the dock in the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.
“Yeh, yeh, yeh,” he taunted further when asked about his previous offences.
Further signs came when Levy, during the plea and mitigation address by his attorney, Chumu Paris, twisted in his seat, grumbling under his breath.
That mumbling continued at intervals during the sentencing address by Justice Daye who, in ordering Levy to stand, proceeded to outline how he arrived at his decisions.
Levy, with one hand behind his back and the other draped over the bench before him, listened with an almost unblinking stare as the judge stated that, although he might not have pulled the trigger, he was still an “aider and abettor”. However, the convict interrupted the judge mid-sentence with “Sir, yuh jus’ waan gwaan talk; since a yuh one fi talk… how him get information fi swab crime scene?”
It was not clear to whom Levy was referring.
When told by the judge to maintain his silence, Levy persisted, “A talk alone yuh can talk; yuh a one prejudice judge, mi nuh fraid fi tell yuh, yuh alone mek man deh yah so, yuh bias. Yuh a one big prejudice judge, mi nah look no sorry fah from yuh, tell yuh dat straight. A who yuh, man?”
He then hissed his teeth and sat defiantly, despite being told to stand while the judge was addressing him.
Resuming his tirade, Levy declared, “Yuh a big parrot, yuh nuh si di fabrication? A gwaan yuh fi gwaan, Mr Daye, a who yuh, man? A kangaroo trial dem gi man.”
Justice Daye, unfazed by Levy’s diatribe, continued, “So what you are facing is either the death sentence or life imprisonment. The prosecution didn’t ask for the death penalty for you so the sentence for count one is life imprisonment.”
But Levy retorted: “Big kangaroo trial yuh gimme, ’bout life imprisonment. Yuh a only judge fi yuh chair.”
Justice Daye reminded Levy that he had been convicted on the basis of the “gruesome killing of a husband and wife at night in which the male was hog-tied, shot in the head, and killed and the female tied up and shot to death”.
The judge said Levy was convicted on the basis of evidence which he had challenged, his confession, as well as a statement under caution to the police in which he had described in full, the killing of the individuals. On that basis a jury had found Levy guilty, the judge said.
“There was a common agreement between yourself and at least three others to rob these two citizens. You were present and the only question is what was your role… the issue was that there was no evidence that you fired the gun, but you were part of the enterprise, you still would be an aider and abettor,” the sentencing judge declared.
Levy, on hearing his incarceration period and parole chances, said, “Yuh a poppy show, yuh a go live forever, Mr Daye, mek sure yuh live forever.”
When the judge ordered: “Take him away from the court,” Levy continued “Big prejudice bwoy, yuh see how yuh walk shaky” before being led away by a cop assigned to the court.
Details of the antecedent report for Levy read into the records of the court revealed that he was a high school drop-out who was expelled from St Jago High in St Catherine for not attending classes and subsequently expelled from Calabar High School for behavioural problems.
There were conflicting views of Levy — who had three previous convictions but had only served a custodial sentence for one — from two of the communities in which he had lived before his arrest. Some residents described him as hard-working and not a threat, while others expressed “fear” of him and did not wish to see him return to the locale. Still, others pointed to his frequent abuse of his common-law spouse.
On Friday, a probation after-care officer assigned to Levy said the convicted man “did not appear remorseful and did not take responsibility” for the crimes for which he “denied any involvement”.