The Director of Public Prosecution, Paula Llewellyn, has recommended that confessed mass murderer, Rushane Barnett, spend at least 60 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
The country’s chief prosecutor made the recommendation Thursday afternoon, while addressing Barnett’s sentencing hearing in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston.
Barnett confessed to killing Kemesha Wright and her four children – Kimanda, Shara-Lee, and Rafaella Smith, and 23-month-old Keshawn Kishawn Henry – in Cocoa Piece, Clarendon in June.
Llewellyn says the gravity of the crimes merits a harsh sentence.
Ricardo Brooks reports.
Having withdrawn the death penalty notice served on the confessed killer, the DPP told the Court that Rushane Barnett should spend at least six decades behind bars before being considered for parole.
Paula Llewellyn described Barnett’s actions as diabolical.
The DPP told the presiding judge, Leighton Pusey, that the severity of the crimes required him to go outside the sentencing guidelines.
She says any reduction in the recommended sentence would shock the conscience of the Jamaican people.
Llewellyn told the Court that her office believed the crimes Barnett confessed to were some of the worst she has seen in Jamaica.
In arriving at 60 years as an appropriate sentence, the DPP told the judge he should start at 55 years, add 8 years for the aggravating factors, deduct two years for mitigating factors and a further three months for time already spent in custody.
She says the age of the victims, the violation of the peace of their home and the fact that vulnerable children died while protecting their mother, were aggravating factors that should be held against Barnett.
The DPP says the victims suffered horrible deaths.
She says the case can be distinguished from others because of its barbarity.
The DPP told the Court that Barnett slaughtered innocent children who could barely protect themselves.
The judge will hand down his sentence at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday October 20. Barnett has been remanded in custody.