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One Order gangster gets second life sentence

Monday, June 30, 2014    

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A 26-year-old reputed member of the One Order criminal gang has been sentenced to life imprisonment, his second such sentence on a charge of murder.

Rayan Williams, who is the father of a four-year-old child, was sentenced by Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop in the Home Circuit Court last Thursday.

In passing the sentence, McDonald-Bishop told Williams that her hands were tied regarding the issue of leniency as a result of his first conviction for which he is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 35 years. That first sentence was levied last year.

"My hands are tied because I have to consider this case and the fact that another life has been taken by your hands," she said.

McDonald-Bishop told Williams that he should really have been sentenced to death because this was his second murder conviction, but said that the prosecution didn't seek the penalty.

Even Williams' own attorney conceded that the previous conviction had tied his hands and left him with little to say in the way of mitigation.

In the end, McDonald-Bishop ordered Williams to serve 50 years of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Both the recent sentence and the old one are to run concurrently. This means that Williams will only serve one life sentence and will be up for parole after 50 years instead of 85 years.

At the sentence, Williams swallowed hard and bit his lips as he stood with his hands behind his back and squinted as if holding

back tears.

Williams was convicted in the Home Circuit Court two Thursdays ago.

A panel of 11 jurors deliberated for a little over an hour before returning the guilty verdict. The trial started out with the required 12 jurors but one female juror was relieved after breaking down during the trial crying.

The juror started bawling after the mother of the murder victim broke down on the witness stand and had to be sent outside the courtroom to compose herself.

When McDonald-Bishop asked the juror why she was crying, she said her own husband had been murdered sometime ago.

Williams was convicted for the shooting death of Spanish Town, St Catherine resident Geraldo Campbell on December 16, 2010.

-- Paul Henry

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