Christmas Day killers get 8 years in prison

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Christmas Day killers get 8 years in prison

Shodeus Clement and Severus Butcher of Soufriere were on Monday, April 15, 2013 handed sentences of eight years for manslaughter.

The incident took place on Christmas Day of 2010 in Baron’s Drive, Soufriere.  The victim was Winell O’Neal of Soufriere.

It was alleged, and accepted by the court, that on the day in question, Clement and Butcher went to Baron’s Drive where they encountered the victim.

The deceased O’ Neal approached the two men and demanded payment of monies allegedly owed to him by Clement.  Clement, who was armed with a knife at the time, pushed the victim and acted in a generally aggressive manner.

The deceased attempted to leave the area to avoid the brewing altercation.  However, Clement and Butcher gave chase and cornered the victim.

After they cornered the victim, Clement produced a knife and proceeded to stab the victim several times about the body while his friend, Butcher, hit him about the head with a wooden post.  They further dealt the victim several kicks and blows about his body after he was down.

The victim was transported to the Soufriere Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

A post mortem of the body found that the victim died due to blunt force trauma to the head as a result of severe blows, and blood loss due to stab wounds to the chest area and the back of his left arm, amongst others.

The two men were indicted on October 20, 2011 where they both pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.  Almost one year later on October 2, 2012, the two men pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

The lesser plea was accepted by the crown and pre-sentence reports were ordered on the defendants.

The report revealed that Clement was a fourth form drop-out of Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School, where he had been in and out of trouble for various misdeeds, including smoking cannabis and gambling.   He has no previous convictions.

Butcher, on the other hand, was a fifth form graduate of Soufriere Comprehensive where he earned passes in six subjects at the CXC examinations.  He also had no previous convictions.

Both men were known to be mainly non-violent in the interactions with others on a day-to-day basis.

In handing down his sentence, Justice Francis Cumberbatch stated some of themitigating factors for both men, which included a lack of premeditation, genuine expressions of remorse, the lack of previous convictions, and the early plea of guilty in the matter.

Some of the aggravating factors were the severity of their actions, the weapons used, the fact that Clement owed the defendant and attacked him anyway, the fact that Butcher followed Clement’s lead, and the fact that they pursued a man who tried to flee trouble, and ended his life.

Justice Cumberbatch stated that the benchmark for this offence was 15 years in prison.  He then granted a 1/3 deduction for the early guilty plea and a further two-year deduction for the genuine expressions of remorse from both defendants.

As a result, both defendants were handed an eight-year sentence which will be counted from December 29, 2010, when they were first remanded.

Clement is further ordered to avail himself of the rehabilitation and job training programmes available at the Bordelais Correctional Facility.

Both men were ordered to counselling for drug abuse and addiction.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Vex or no vex that one is rediculous, u came looking for the person and ended up killing that person after he run away from you. That is cruel. Both guy need to spend life in there. Put it that way what if the victim had no criminal record. They could have done it to anyone in their path. That's why st.lucia is not the lucia I use to know. Then you wonder why they rob tourist in broad day light in public. Need to have our Justice system restore. I have brothers and believe me if they can spend 8 years then I rather do it and let them go down six ft too.

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  2. Ull like to judge to much in ull mother .. all of dem were in drugs when u o u hav to past the ppl f.. money thts wat drugs abt so if u in it take wat u get.....ull lucian to judgmental watch ull children before judging others

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  3. kill some one and the only sentence is 8yrs. wow. then u wonder why the victims families take revenge

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  4. If justice was fair the deceased would be in prison serving a life sentence for killing the prison officer many years ago. So I agree the system is flawed, the cycle continues.

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  5. The Justice system in St.Lucia stinks,life is real cheap. Eight years for murder? Sickening absolutely sickening makes me want to throw up.

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  6. 8 years only??!! For the person own money!!!!! My goos! And its counting from 2010 so they only remain 4 and a half to do. Smh!

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  7. The deceased attempted to flee and you tracked him down and killed him, and you only get 8 years??? Why did you have a knife on you in the FIRST PLACE! And because you expressed remorse (i.e. cry and say sorry because you WERE CAUGHT) you get years taken off your sentence???? GOOD JOB JUSTICE SYSTEM! Sends a clear message that if you owe someone money and dont want to pay, you just kill them?? REALLY? So all those ppl who owe the banks?....STUPESSS CRAP!

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  8. I don't see how this is manslaughter, this is first degree murder. They should get life sentence, I can't believe this!

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    • why is eight years not sufficient time? what they did was not right but remember the deceased was once in this exact position and he himself was not granted life imprisonment. We all fall short and make mistakes that we tend to regret our entire life's.

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      • Anonymous, you should not have read this story and the comments. You'll just get pissed off... Well you probably are. The victim did the same thing and did not get life although you wished he did yet you're satisfied with the 8 years that the two got got killing the victim. Think about it.

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        • i am not pissed at anything and would never wish that the deceased got life imprisonment.
          i am happy that he got a chance to make something better of himself and i think that the two guys should be given that opportunity as well. like i said what they did was wrong and if the sentenced time granted to them isn't sufficient then who i am to say otherwise. All i am doing is stating my views as each and every other person did. What is too be will be. The one person to JUDGE what is right from wrong is "God".

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