Mandeville soldier sentenced to life for murder
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Forty-nine year-old soldier Bernard Ballentine was this morning sentenced to life imprisonment in the Manchester Circuit court for the murder of Northern Caribbean University student Shannel Norris.
He will be eligible for parole after spending 20 years in prison.
Norris' body was found on August 11, 2010 with her throat slashed in Ballentine's car close to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Foster Barracks on Manchester Road in Mandeville.
Ballentine was relieved of his duties in the JDF shortly after the incident.
Defence lawyer Velma Hylton at the sentencing urged Justice Bertram Morrison to be lenient on her client who she said has a good public record.
She asked him to bear in mind Ballentine's service to his country in the military.
However, Justice Morrison in his response said that even if he wanted to give Ballentine a 15-year sentence he showed no remorse throughout the trial.
Ballentine who was convicted of murder last week appeared calm even when he was being handcuffed and taken from the courtroom.
Justice Morrison commented that Norris had the potential to become a prime minister and her life was cut short.