'Change of life' doesn't save ex-journalist from prison

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Eleven years after he appeared in an undated video saying that had he not changed his life he would have ended up like his father, who was executed for murder, a High Court has found a 50-year-old man guilty of murder and seven other charges.

The 12-member mixed jury late Monday deliberated for just over three hours in finding former journalist Junior Jarvis guilty of murder in connection with the February 14, 2017 shooting death of banker Randy Lawrence, 39.

A post-mortem found that Lawrence died as a result of blood loss and multiple gunshot wounds.

Apart from the murder conviction, Jarvis was also found guilty of using a firearm to aid in the commission of the offence, entering the dwelling house of Josette Smith as a trespasser, and at the time had with him a gun as well as attempting to murder Smith.

The jury also found Jarvis guilty of abducting Arisha Pompey, assaulting Pompey causing actual bodily harm; and using a firearm to aid in the abduction of Pompey.

He was also found guilty on the charge of attempting to murder Pompey. The prosecution said all the offences against him were done on February 14, 2017.

Lawrence, an employee of Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he was taken after being shot multiple times.

In the video, which was uploaded to YouTube in January. 23, 2011, American missionary Don Overstreet spoke about how Jarvis' father, convicted murderer James Jarvis, was brave in the face of his execution, having accepted Jesus Christ into his life.

Jarvis said he had always heard the story of Pastor Overstreet and how he led his father to Christ.

"And it should have been an example for me, but, instead, I followed the wrong direction and went down the wrong path for many of my years and I reached to the point where had I not made the decision to come to Christ, I would have followed in the same footsteps; my father's last footsteps. But I am glad to say and, praise God, that I am following in his footsteps, but in a different way," Jarvis said.

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