22-year-old gets 25 years for murder
From the Courts
June 5, 2009
22-year-old gets 25 years for murder

By the time Luke Williams finishes serving his 25-year prison sentence, he will be 47 years old.

Presiding judge, Justice Gertel Thom, imposed the heavy custodial sentence on the 22-year-old Rose Hall man on Wednesday June 3, 2009 at the High Court.{{more}}

The matter was called up for sentencing the day before to allow the social inquiry report to be read and also for mitigation from defense counsel Arthur Williams.

Williams was convicted on March 19, 2009, for the December 31, 2007, murder of his cousin, Terry Browne, 36, also of the same address. It was heard that about 7:35 am, both men were involved in an argument about bottles that Williams was throwing in the deceased’s yard. During the argument, Williams, who was standing with his hands behind his back, pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed Browne in the chest. Browne was rushed to the Chateaubelair Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Williams turned himself into the police shortly after the incident.

The social inquiry report read by caseworker Janet Wilkins of the Family Services Division stated that Williams had a long history of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of his father and other relatives. Williams, who lived in Trinidad and Tobago for most of his life, returned to St Vincent in 2003 at the age of 15, bringing his Secondary education to a halt. While here, Williams worked as a minibus conductor and also with Fredericks Construction in Rillan Hill.

During the interview with Wilkins, Williams said that he tended to be aggressive when provoked. Williams attributed his behaviour to the treatment dished out to him by his father. Several persons interviewed in Williams’ community spoke highly of him, stating that he was quiet and always willing to help, but lamented that his hands were “too fast”. Williams was convicted of a burglary matter in 2003.

Wilkins concluded that Williams was undoubtedly apologetic for what had happened to his cousin. She asked the court to extend leniency to Williams and said that he should be given professional help, including anger management counseling. Wilkins said she thought Williams was a good prospect to be rehabilitated.

Counsel Arthur Williams said he found the report to be comprehensive and did not see the need to call any witnesses. Lawyer Williams pleaded with the court to take into account his client’s age and life history.

Williams submitted that it was clear from the evidence that the stab inflicted by Williams was not intentional and that he ran straight to the police station after the incident took place. “He is remorseful, and this is a case that calls for leniency,” Williams pleaded. (KW)