Vincentian gets 20 years in jail
News
April 5, 2011
Vincentian gets 20 years in jail

05.APR.11

Vincentian national Keon Edwards will spend the next 20 years of his life in prison.{{more}}

Edwards, who has been living in the British Virgin Island (BVI) since 1996, was sentenced yesterday, April 4, on a count of manslaughter.

The BVIPLATINUMNEWS reported that High Court Judge Justice Indra Hariprashad-Charles handed down the sentence after Edwards pleaded guilty to the shooting death of Munroe Thomas Jr., outside Club Diplomat in Long Bush, on March 1, 2009.

Although the weapon in the shooting has never been found, Edwards’ lawyer, Steven Daniels told the court that his client had indicated that the weapon was dumped in the sea while he was travelling to St. Thomas to escape law enforcement officials after the incident.

The article further reported that on Friday, April 1, while the victim’s mother was in court, Edwards apologised for his actions on the morning that led to Thomas’ death. He also told the Judge that he only fired three shots on the night.

Edwards said Thomas suffered a single gunshot wound that was fired “carelessly and recklessly.”

“Mr. Thomas’ life was short-lived and I am so sorry for what I have done to the Thomas family and also my family as well. I have caused pain and suffering to these families,” Edwards stated. “I have made a great mistake and I am prepared to deal with the consequences. I am very sorry, Mrs. Thomas,” he added.

“The wounds are still fresh. I pray that everyone will find it in their hearts to forgive me and hope someday they will have some closure to this matter,” Edwards stated.

“Mrs. Thomas will only have the memory of her son, but my kids will still have their father, but this too has impacted them so much, since I had such influence on their life. They are so young and I want the opportunity to have a life with them again. One day I will teach them not to go down this same road I went and how to resolve issues without fear of threat or violence, and that nothing good can ever come from violence,” Edwards said.

The prosecuction had contended that on March 1, 2009, around 2:15 a.m., Edwards went to the Club in Long Bush where he was denied entry by security guards, since he was not properly attired. There was a discussion with the guards, but Edwards then pushed his way into the club. One of the guards then pursued him and this developed into a confrontation between Edwards and the guard, during which licks were exchanged. Others at the club intervened and Edwards was removed from the club.

However, Edwards returned some 15 minutes later, dressed in a shirt which would have afforded him entry into the club. At this time, Edwards went towards the security guard with whom he had the confrontation earlier, in an attacking manner. Persons then intervened and pulled him away from the security guard.

Despite this, Edwards still made efforts to attack the guard. After being restrained on a number of occasions, he came within a reasonable distance of the security guard, took a handgun from his waist and started firing shots. Monroe Thomas, who was nearby, was hit in his neck by one of the bullets.

Edwards then went towards his vehicle, while at the same time firing shots. He then fled the scene in a red Dodge vehicle and was not seen again until he was apprehended in the USVI.