Life sentence for Jamaican wife-killer
Prosecution wanted more than 25 years before parole

A Jamaican man who was convicted of the murder of his Canadian wife in 2015 was on Thursday sentenced to life in prison in the Home Circuit Court.

Alphanso Warren will serve 25 years before being eligible for parole, however, the seven years that he has been in custody will be deducted from the time, making him able to apply for a parole hearing after 18 years.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Andrea Martin-Swaby objected to the time for eligibility of parole, arguing that Warren was a repeat offender who had convictions in both Canada and Jamaica and needed to serve additional time before the possibility of release.

According to Martin-Swaby, Warren had been prosecuted and found guilty of offences against family members in the past. She asked the judge, Justice Leighton Pusey, to take into consideration that Warren’s previous four convictions were for serious offences.

The judge assured her that he had taken those matters into consideration before handing down the sentence.

Pusey said that the law states that life imprisonment carries a minimum time of 15 years for parole, however, the gravity of the crime, in addition to the need to make the sentence a deterrent, was the reason for the 25 years.

Justice Pusey also said he took into consideration that the murder “seems to be a crime of passion” instead of being premeditated as well as the good social report that was read in court on Thursday.

In the trial, the court had heard that the couple was involved in a domestic dispute, which escalated to Warren stabbing Stephanie Warren 23 times, mainly to the chest, face, and abdomen.

A neighbour testified that Stephanie Warren had begged her husband, “Don’t hurt me,” before she was killed and her body dumped in the courtyard of their apartment complex.

Earlier, defence attorney Carol DaCosta had argued for a lenient sentence as she noted that the social report indicated that Warren was not a threat to members of his community. She stated that Warren is a certified chef who, when released, will not be a burden to the State and begged the judge to take the time served into consideration.

Warren was first convicted in Canada and, along with with his wife, was found guilty of child abandonment after their eight-month-old daughter Angelica Leslie was found on the stairwell of a parking garage in January 2008. The child was later adopted.

The couple left Canada for Jamaica the following year, but Warren was again convicted of malicious destruction of property on April 29, 2011, and sentenced to three months or $40,000.

He was again found guilty on September 6, 2012 and sentenced to 12 months at hard labour for concealment of death and failure to bury a body after the decomposing body of the couple’s son, called Baby Joshua, was found in a suitcase.

According to Pusey, the escalation of the crimes in each case, as well as Warren’s disregard for family members, were also factors in the sentencing.

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