Sentencing for Rushane Barnett set for October 20, death penalty removed

Rushane Barnett who confessed to killing five of his relatives in Clarendon in June, no longer has the death penalty over his head.

This as the prosecution has opted to withdraw the notice of intention to seek the death penalty.

Barnett appeared in court today for a sentencing hearing in relation to the killing of his 5 cousins – 31-year-old Kemesha Wright, and her children 15-year-old Kimanda Smith, 12-year-old Sharalee Smith, five-year- Rafaella Smith and 23-month-old Keshawn Henry Junior.

Director of Public Prosecution Paula Lewellyn told the home circuit court on Thursday, that Barnett’s guilty plea was taken into consideration.

The DPP explained that with the death penalty no longer on the table, the prosecution has adjusted its recommendations for sentence, to life imprisonment.

She described the incident as the worst example of an offence of murder, committed at the same time, with 5 victims, from the same location.

She recommended that Barnett serves 60 years before being eligible for parole.

Meantime, Clarendon murder accused Rushane Barnett has reportedly blamed obeah as one factor that resulted in his attack on his 5 cousins, killing them at their home, 3 months ago.

At the sentencing hearing at the home circuit court today, director of public prosecution Paula Lewellyn outlined aspects of the case to the court.

She cited assessment reports of Barnett who claimed he has been hearing voices.

In outlining recommendations for sentencing, the DPP pointed to the severity of the killings, and the far reaching impact on family and community members.


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