Man given lengthy jail term for killing Jamaican

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — A Supreme Court judge yesterday sentenced a 22-year-old man to a minimum of 35 years in jail for the 2017 fatal shooting of a Jamaican.

Morlan Steede, who was 30 and the father of a four-year-old girl, was murdered as he “ran for his life” from a gunman who chased him through the back streets of Pembroke parish.

Kiari Tucker was convicted by a jury's unanimous verdict last month on charges that he murdered Steede and used a firearm to commit an indictable offence, after five and a half hours of deliberation. Steede's was the 35th gun death in Bermuda since 2009.

In sentencing Tucker, Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves said the accused must serve at least 25 years before he is eligible for parole on the murder charge, and he was given an additional 10 years for the use of a firearm.

The court heard that Steede was chased through the Deepdale area of Pembroke on the night of November 3, 2017 by a gunman who shot him at least three times. He was rushed to hospital but died.

Tucker was arrested for the attack the following day, after police found him hidden under clothes in a closet in his godmother's apartment.

Tests later showed particles consistent with gunshot residue on his hands and on clothing found at his home.

Prosecutors claimed Tucker was the man seen on CCTV walking through Deepdale and chasing Steede. They said mobile phone records placed Tucker in the area at the time of the murder, and evidence from a British forensic gait expert identified similarities between his walk and that of the gunman.

The jury was told that Tucker stalked and killed Steede before he returned to Court Street, where he was seen without a jacket he had worn earlier in the evening.

But Tucker denied the allegations and said he was not involved in the murder. He claimed he had spent most of the evening of the murder selling crack cocaine on Court Street, but admitted he had gone to the Deepdale area to buy cannabis.

Tucker said he had no idea how gunshot residue got onto his clothing.

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