DPP serves death penalty notice on accused in killing of Clarendon family

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions  has served  a death penalty notice on 23 year old Rushane Barnett, who is accused of killing a family of five last Tuesday in Cocoa Piece Clarendon.

The notice was served  in the home circuit court on Tuesday June 28, when Barnett made his first court appearance.

The DPP’s office decided to forgo the committal proceedings in the  parish court and brought the case directly to the home circuit court, where a voluntary bill of indictment  was laid in the court, which outlines the charges against Barnett.

The DPP’s office explains that the death penalty notice was  served on the Barnett  pursuant to section three – one  of the offences against the person act.

Barnett is charged  with the murder of 31 year old Kimeisha Wright  ,  her daughters  : 15 year old Kimanda Smith , 10 year old Shara-Lee Smith, 5 year old  Rafaella Smith  and her son 23 month old Kishawn Henry .

The DPP’s office says it brought the matter to the home circuit court  having carefully considered the allegations,  as disclosed within the evidentiary material gathered so far, the law, and the public  interest.

It also  filed the death penalty notice in the supreme court and a copy of this notice was served on Barnett .

The dpp’s office in a  statement explains,  that the provisions of  the offences against the person act state “that every person convicted for multiple murders which arise out of the same incident shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life or to death”. 

According to the act the death penalty will not be imposed unless prior notice is given to the accused person, long before the trial of the matter.

The office of the DPP says it was deemed appropriate for the death penalty

notice to be prepared and served on the accused today to ensure that at the earliest opportunity, he is made aware of the intention of the prosecuting authority to make the recommendations that the death penalty is an option for the sentencing judge consequent on a conviction.

The case has been  set for mention, on Friday July 22,  for legal representation to be settled for Barnett, outstanding reports, including a psychiatric evaluation to be submitted, and disclosure of all the material to the defence.


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