Hard on the heels of the two life sentences meted out in the Supreme Court on the premeditated murder trial of a a jilted lover and her half brother, the Bermuda Police Service today welcomed the 25-year minimum time that will have to be served before parole.
Katrina Burgess, 49 and Cleveland Rogers, 53, begin serving their first night of life behind bars tonight, for the murder of Marcus Gibbings in 2006.
In a statement released this evening, Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro, the Officer in Charge (OIC), of the Serious Crime Division said: “We recognise the time which it took for this matter to come before the courts created some angst within the community and with Mr. Gibbings’ family members.
“From the day this tragic event occurred, we investigated this case diligently and with the utmost urgency.
Both Burgess and Rogers will have to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before they become eligible for parole.
The sentences were handed down by Puisne Judge Craig Attridge, who said if he could, he would have considered an even harsher prison sentence for this “senseless” killing.
“He didn’t deserve to die in this violent and depraved manner,” said Justice Attridge.
The court heard during the trial that Burgess had been in a relationship with Mr Gibbings and that she paid Rogers $5,000 to kill him after they had broken up.
The victim, who was 32-years-old, was lured to his Devonshire home where he was ambushed and stabbed multiple times by Rogers.
In a victim impact statement, the victim’s family asked the court to show “no mercy” for this murder that left three children without their father.
“We would give anything to have Marcus with us, to take away the pain and terror he suffered that night.”
The family added that Burgess tried “everything possible” to disrupt their grieving process over the 13 years that passed since Mr Gibbings’ death.
“All Marcus ever did was try to love her and her daughter and for that he paid the ultimate price — his life,” they said.
Rogers was represented by lawyer Marc Daniels. Lawyer Charles Richardson appeared for Burgess.
The defendants were found guilty of premeditated in March.
BPoth defendants reportedly plan to appeal the convictions meted out today.