Attorneys representing convicted Clansman-One Don gang members plead for leniency at sentencing hearing today
Attorneys representing Andre Bryan and 14 others in the Clansman-One Don gang case today (September 25) sought leniency for their clients who were found guilty of a number of offences earlier this year.
The court convicted Bryan for leadership of a criminal organization and six counts of facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organization.
The others, Tomrick Taylor, Michael Whitely, Dylon McLean, Lamar Simpson, Tareek James, Stephanie Christie, Fabian Johnson, Jahzeel Blake, Roel Taylor, Joseph McDermott, Jermaine Robinson, Andre Golding, Bryan Morris and Ted prince were all found guilty of being part of a criminal organization.
Six men were also found guilty of facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organization, while Roel Taylor was also convicted for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.
Bryan was first to address the court, indicting to Chief Justice Brian Sykes that he wished to speak on his own behalf.
The Chief Justice explained why he should have his lawyer address the court, but he maintained that he wanted to speak for himself.
After being given time to read the relevant documents, he returned quoting several scriptures, indicating he had been reading the bible a lot.
He was asked by Chief Justice Sykes to continue after the other attorneys made their mitigation pleas as he had much to say.
Meanwhile, Alexander Shaw, attorney for the sole female convicted, Stephanie Christie asked the court for a reduced sentence.
The maximum sentence for being part of a criminal organization is 20 years.
He pointed out that she would invite her friends to church, stating that there was a constant struggle, though always at church, she found herself a part of a negative social group.
He said it was her struggle that caused her to be in the present situation.
The attorney said she had been in custody for the last 4 years, and was not able to care for her teenaged daughter and mother, and that she was not beyond rehabilitation. The attorney added that Christie’s community would be embarrassed and disappointed in her conduct.
He said Ms Christie wants to go back to lead a better life.
The other attorneys spoke to mitigating circumstances that should result in reduced sentences for their clients.
Among the issues raised was the young age of some of the men and their lack of maturity at the time of the offences, and previous good character.
The sentencing hearing continues in the Home Circuit Court tomorrow