Confessed murderer gets 20 years and 3 months in prison

Justice Leighton Pusey on Wednesday told 22-year-old confessed murderer Corey Walters that his argument claiming he was influenced by friends to commit the crime would not be bought, and subsequently handed him a life sentence and won't be eligible for parole until he serves 20 years and three months for the killing of a woman at a fishing village.

Walters was also sentenced to 15 years at hard labour for illegal possession of firearm. The sentences for murder and the illegal firearm will run concurrently, so he will not be eligible for parole until after the 20 years and three months.

Walters showed no emotions when the sentence was handed down or when he was led out of courtroom by cops.

The deceased, Patsy Coleman, who was a resident of Rasta Corner in Sandy Bay, Clarendon, was gunned down on February 15, 2022 at the Old Harbour Fishing Village in St Catherine. She was shot three times as she made her way to the restroom. Walters was apprehended less than a month after the killing.

Due to the fact that Walters pleaded guilty, among other factors, Justice Pusey gave him a discount on the sentencing.

"I consider this matter to be a deliberate killing. There is some reference that is made on the file as to why the deceased was targeted, that was not substantial enough to rely on. What is clear from the evidence is that he went there and deliberately intended to kill the deceased with a firearm."

"It is a gun crime and is something the court has to punish seriously. This is not something that was accidental and a spur of the moment. They went there with a particular intent. I also consider the fact that it occurred in the day and in public space. I also consider his disregard for life. He has said that other persons were in this and he felt some pressure."

"I am giving you a discount of 20 per cent. For the mitigating factor, I consider that he was 21 at the time of the incident and the fact that he has claimed responsibility has worked in his favour. He has a positive social enquiry report, no previous convictions and I have also considered the fact that he had no personal malice and had no ill will," Justice Pusey said, indicating that his sentenced would be shaved down from 30 years in prison to 20.

According to Pusey, the accused man had always maintained that he was responsible.

"He said in his caution statements and other statements that he was taken to the area by some friends who provided him with a gun, took him to the location and he was directed to fire shots at Miss Coleman. He indicated that he had no intention to harm her. According to his attorney, it was the influence of the friends and personal weakness that led him to commit this act."

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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