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Three convicted murderers lose appeal

Friday, August 10, 2012    

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THREE convicted murderers have been ordered by the Court of Appeal to serve their sentences for the brutal killing of three people in 1998.

Michael Allison, Oniel Hamilton and Marlon Johnson — all of Cockburn Gardens in Kingston — were convicted on a second trial in the Home Circuit Court and sentenced in 2006 to life, on the first count of murder and then given the death penalty for the other two counts of murder.

The governor general, on July 23, 2009 pardoned the men in relation to the death sentences which were commuted to life.

The men subsequently appealed their convictions for the murders of Dezreen Meghoo, Latanya McDonald and Oliver Lawrence at their home in Cockburn Gardens in April 1998.

Submissions were made before Justices Seymour Panton, president of the Court of Appeal, and acting appellate court justices Mahadev Dukharan and Patrick Brooks, in early July.

The court, in dismissing the men's appeal last Tuesday, found that there was no fault in the direction given by the trial judge, Justice Paulette Williams to the jury.

"Because of the heinous nature of the killings, we find no reason to disturb the sentence imposed by the learned trial judge in respect of the first count [of murder] on the indictment," the judges wrote in their ruling.

With regards to count two and three, which the governor general commuted to life, the court ruled that the men must serve 40 years of before becoming eligible for parole.

"All the sentences are to be reckoned as having commenced on 20 January 2006," the court ordered.

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