Jonathan ‘Ninja Dan’ St Rose and his co-defendants were today sentenced by the High Court, outside of which several police officers were stationed.
St Rose, Mervyn Nelson and Lynden Blasse were charged with the February 14, 2009 murder of Dwayne ‘Chubby’ James.
James, of Maynard Hill, succumbed after being stabbed.
Attorney at Law, Jeannot Walters, who represented Lynden Blasse, explained that a guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted.
“The Judge gave them a sentence of twelve years. She set a benchmark of twenty years and after she did her reductions she imposed a time of twelve years,” Walters told reporters.
He said the Judge raised the benchmark from fifteen to twenty years because of the nature of the act.
Walters said that manslaughter matters are all different.
He was responding to a question about the release here after time served of French national, Eric Sommier.
Sommier had been charged in connection with the 2012 death of Lucas Francois of Choiseul, whom he was accused of pushing off a boat at Pigeon Island and failing to respond to his cries for help.
After almost four years on remand, the Frenchman was sentenced to time served and released, having pleaded guilty to a lesser count of manslaughter.
He left Saint Lucia hours after.
“Manslaughter matters range in severity and as the Judge said, this was a senseless violent act. In her wisdom she saw 12 years as being the appropriate sentence,”Jeannot Walters said of the matter involving Ninja Dan and his co-defendants.
He asserted that it was the decision of the court which he accepts.
Walters disclosed that the men had done about seven years and four months thus far – the time they have physically been in custody.
According to him, the Judge revealed that the time will be taken into account when the term of imprisonment is calculated.
The Attorney at Law declared that the Judge had raised the benchmark because of the nature of the act.
“On that evening there is a phone call. They went up to Maynard Hill and an act took. They are remorseful. Somebody lost their life, that is something we must remember. My client acted out of blind loyalty – misplaced loyalty, but they acted together and somewhere along the line one of the entourage pulled out a knife,” Walters said.
He recalled the Judge as saying that she could not distinguished who did it.
“We can’t tell who did it, so she treated all of them the same way and sentenced them to twelve years,” he stated.
Magdelana James, the mother of the deceased – Dwayne ‘Chubby’ James, said she was leaving matters in the Lord’s hands.
“I cannot tell you how I feel because I will not get my son back,” James declared.
Attorney at Law, Shawn Innocent, who represented Ninja Dan, would not be drawn into indicating whether the sentence would be appealed.
“I cannot comment on that at this stage,” Innocent told reporters.