By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN, convicted of murdering the mother of his child at their workplace, was sentenced to 45 years in prison yesterday.
However, Rashid Dean’s time at Her Majesty’s Prison since August 2011 was subtracted from the sentence imposed by Justice Indra Charles for the August 14, 2011, stabbing death of Onieka Johnson.
Justice Charles said the incident was a “callous murder” with the deceased having multiple injuries about the ear, neck and torso and added that it was troubling that Dean had shown no remorse, “particularly in the wake of the overwhelmingly unanimous guilty verdict.”
The judge noted that the family wanted Dean to be sentenced to death. However, she said, the Crown had not sought the ultimate punishment, but had “to send a message of deterrence, particularly in the wake of rising violent crime against women.”
In his trial last December, the 29-year-old who was Ms Johnson’s former boyfriend, denied killing her on August 14, 2011.
On the day in question, Ms Johnson was found unresponsive in a security booth of the Club Med Resort at San Salvador having suffered multiple lacerations.
Dean, the father of her young child, was arrested days later.
The jury heard evidence from Dr Caryn Sands, a pathologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, who testified that of the 15 cuts and stabs wounds on the body of 21-year-old Oneika Johnson, two stab wounds on the right side of her neck and two that punctured her left lung were the most fatal, because of the significant bleeding caused.
Dr Sands noted that these wounds were likely to have been caused by a knife. She said the cuts found on Johnson’s forearm and fingers were consistent with a person defending themselves from such an attack.
Evidence was also given by video link by Marisa Roe, a forensic analyst and forensic manager of Fairfax Identity Laboratories in Richmond, Virginia.
The Crown’s last witness explained the findings of her analysis on items submitted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force for DNA profiling.
Oneika Johnson was profiled not only on six of the nine scene swabs, but also on the three knife swabs and a tyre sample.
No other profiles were found on those 10 samples.
When asked by prosecutor Darnell Dorsett if it were possible for a victim’s blood to mask the DNA of an attacker’s touch on an instrument, the analyst said this was possible if there was much more blood than the other person’s DNA.
During cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the analyst if she was able to say whether the swab samples for the knife came from the blade or the handle. Ms Roe said she could not.
Mr Ducille asked if it were possible for DNA to be moved from one place to another. The analyst said that was possible.
Mr Ducille, yesterday, indicated that his client instructed him to appeal the conviction and sentence.