“This is a very sad case. Here I have in front of me are three persons who are still children,” Justice Navindra Singh said on Tuesday as he considered suitable sentences for three teenagers who had confessed to killing Professor Pariedeau Mars in 2016.
The three that confessed to the crime are 18-year-old Naomi Adams, 20-year-old Nikkisha Dover, and 19-year-old Orin McCrae. The convicted trio were represented by Attorneys Mark Conway, Mohammed Ali and Adrian Thompson respectively.
Initially charged for the capital offence of murder, the teenagers recently opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and their sentencing was deferred to Tuesday for presentation of a probation report.
The joint charge read that on May 12, 2016, in the county of Demerara, they killed Pariedeau Mars, also called ‘Perry’, in furtherance of a robbery.
In pleas of mitigation to the Court, each defence counsel asked that Justice Singh consider the fact that their clients were ages 15, 16 and 17 respectively when the senseless crime was committed and also that they did not waste the Court’s time and pleaded guilty on first appearances.
Moreover, Attorney Thompson on his client’s behalf (McCrae) specifically highlighted that he has been attending anger management classes during his time spent on remand. Meanwhile, Attorney Conway noted that his client (Adams) has also been attending anger management classes and church services regularly.
However, the prosecution which consisted of State Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy, Teriq Mohammed, and Sarah Martin, contended that the sentences should reflect the nature, gravity, and circumstances in which the crime was committed, since Professor Mars died gruesomely.
As such, Justice Singh, before handing down the sentences, advised each of the convicted teens to use the time being incarcerated to complete their secondary education and prepare themselves for their release back into society.
Adams, being the first to confess to the crime, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, while her co-accused Dover and McCrae were both sentenced to 12 years each. It was ordered that the prison authorities deduct the years spent on remand from each of the sentences imposed.
Timithy Paul Chance and Andre Benjamin are the two that remain accused of murder and are expected to face trials to determine their fate.
According to Police reports in 2016, 75-year-old Mars, of Bissessar Avenue, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, was found bound and beaten in his home about 18:30h on May 12, 2016 by his wife. He was subsequently rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Investigations revealed that Dover was known to the now dead professor as she would visit his home. It was further revealed that the said accused confessed to conspiring with McCrae to rob the elderly man as he was home alone on the day of the incident.