Tears flow after woman gets life sentence for killing friend

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Tears flow after woman gets life sentence for killing friend

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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A Hanover woman, who stabbed her friend to death after he tried to quash a fight between her and his girlfriend, was in tears last Friday after she was sentenced to life in prison.

Diandra Jarrett was sentenced by Justice Nicole Simmonds in the Gun Court at the Supreme Court, after she was found guilty of the murder of Damian Bowen.

The 27-year-old vendor will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

Bowen, a 34-year-old welder, died after he was stabbed in his neck and chest during an altercation at a party on Montpelier Road in Hanover, on June 1, 2013.

Facts in the case are that about 7:00 pm, Bowen's babymother and Jarrett were involved in a fight. He tried to separate them but was stabbed twice with a knife.

Bowen's babymother was also stabbed in her chest, leg, arm, breast, and chin.

The dispute between the women allegedly stemmed from an earlier argument.

Thirty minutes before the deadly altercation, the mother of Bowen's child was standing on the road with her niece when Jarrett came by and whispered something in the young woman's ear.

Bowen's babymother voiced her disapproval of Jarrett's action, which led to an argument. Jarrett reportedly left the scene but later returned.

Last Friday, before Jarrett was sentenced, her mother, Donna May Grant, and sister, Kimone Clarke — who were both in tears — pleaded for leniency.

Both women told the court that they were surprised when they learnt that Jarrett had killed someone, as she was not the type of person to get involved in disputes.

“I was so depressed. Knowing her, she is not the type of person to fight. I never expected that,” Grant said.

The mother, who described her daughter as loving, kind, jovial, and trustworthy, told the court that she grew up in the church and “got saved” as a teenager.

She then begged the judge to give her a suspended sentence because imprisoning Jarrett would be a great setback for her.

Clarke, who said she was equally depressed, asked the judge to take Jarrett's age into consideration as well as the fact that people make mistakes.

“I ask for her to get a second chance in life to progress knowing that she is young,” she said.

Jarrett's lawyer, Martin Thomas, also begged for leniency and urged the judge to treat her as someone who had made a mistake.

He told the judge to bear in mind that his client was not an aggressive person and that the incident was completely outside of her usual behaviour.

Martin also told the judge that members of Jarrett's community have attested to the fact that she was not a troublemaker, and have also asked for mercy for her as she did not pose a threat to the community.

The lawyer said his client is deeply remorseful and that her actions were not intentional. He also said that the incident has taken a toll on Jarrett, as it was traumatic for her and has resulted in her having mental health issues.

Justice Simmonds, before handing down the sentence, said that she had taken into consideration all that her relatives and lawyer had asked, but that the court has to demonstrate that the offence is a serious crime.

However, she said that she will accept Jarrett's remorse as she had pointed out during the trial that Bowen was her friend who would look out for her, and that community members spoke glowingly about her.

She then urged Jarrett to use her time in prison to reflect and to learn “something” that would keep her engaged so that she does not lose hope.

— Tanesha Mundle


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