By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN who claimed he killed a friend for hooking him up with an HIV-positive girl was sentenced to 38 years in prison by Supreme Court Justice Indira Charles yesterday.
Last month, jurors unanimously convicted 19-year old Stephen Russell of killing Tomal Stubbs on November 19, 2011.
According to the trial evidence, Russell told investigators he did not intend to kill Stubbs, but wanted to hurt him for causing him to contract AIDS.
But Russell, who was 18 when he killed Stubbs, claimed police made up his confession and beat him into signing it.
No evidence was brought to show Russell is ill, and his testimony was not accepted by the jury.
Crown prosecutors urged the justice to sentence Russell to life in prison. Russell, they said, had committed a “careless, cold blooded murder of a friend who was vulnerable”.
The justice said that while she agreed that the murder was careless and cold blooded, mitigating factors like Russell’s age at the time and his previously blemish-free criminal record, influenced her decision.