By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN, whose sentencing on a murder conviction has been delayed until December 3, apologised yesterday to the mother of the victim who was fatally stabbed during a fight at a tyre shop in Nassau Village two years ago.
When given the opportunity to speak in the Supreme Court during what was supposed to be his sentencing, 22-year-old Kevin Smith turned to Linda Clarke, who had re-entered the court room in tears, to say that he was sorry.
“Ms Clarke, I’m sorry for the loss of life of your son. I aint mean for it to go that way,” the man said.
Ms Clarke’s sobbing question was: “Why did you have to kill him? You stab him up so much times.”
On September 26 of this year, Smith of Alexandria Boulevard was unanimously convicted of the August 12, 2010 stabbing death of Garnell Clarke, which occurred during an argument.
Prosecutors Eucal Bonaby and Paul Jones alleged that Smith was the aggressor in the incident while Smith, and defending attorney Anthony Newbold, maintained that he had acted in self defence.
Justice Bernard Turner deferred sentencing until November 28 for the probation report to be presented to the court before passing sentence on Smith.
The probation officer gave a summation of the report, noting that Smith’s struggle with smoking and alcohol. He acknowledged Smith’s ability to find gainful employment after being expelled from high school in the 10th grade.
The officer also reported that Smith said he had not intended for the fight to end the way it did.
Mr Bonaby asked the probation officer if Smith showed any remorse for the killing. The officer said that no remorse was shown for the crime as the convict only indicated that he had no intentions of killing Garnell Clarke.
Following the report, Mr Newbold told the court that his client had something he wanted to say to the court.
Smith apologized to the court for the life that was lost and he went on to say that he wished to address the deceased’s mother who had moments ago left court and could be heard crying on the outside.
Ms Clarke entered court in tears and sat down as Smith turned to address her.
“Ms Clarke, I’m sorry for the loss of life of your son. I aint mean for it to go that way” the man said. He said it was not his intention for the fight to end the way it did.
“Why did you have to kill him? You stab him up so much times,” Ms Clarke sobbed.
Justice Turner interrupted and Mr Newbold continued his submissions.
The attorney noted that his client struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, which he said, was a growing issue for many in the country.
He also asked the court to take into consideration that his client, based on the report, had a troubled relationship with at least one of his parents.
“Anytime, that there are problems in the home with parents, children fall prey to self-destructive behaviours,” the attorney said.
After further submissions, Justice Turner said he would defer sentencing until December 3 for further considerations concerning the case itself, the probation report and mitigating factors from counsel’s submissions.