By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
COURT of Appeal judges have affirmed the life sentence of a convicted murderer whose actions they described as “cold-blooded and callous”.
In March, Justices Anita Allen, Abdulai Conteh and Neville Adderley dismissed Pachino Lundy’s appeal against conviction concerning the 2005 fatal shooting of Police Constable Henry Curry outside the OK Bar on East Street. The appellate court, however, had reserved its decision on whether the life sentence imposed on Lundy was unduly severe.
The appellate court, in its written decision published on Friday, said: “There did not appear to be a motive, there was no indication of previous altercations or vexing words between the deceased and the appellant and the appellant was not of good character.
“This appeared to be a cold-blooded, callous killing and in the circumstances, it was not demonstrated that the sentence was unduly severe. In the premises, the exercise of the judge’s discretion cannot be considered unreasonable.”
Lundy, in July 2012, was unanimously convicted of murder after a retrial. He had been on bail for nearly a year after his first trial in 2011 was declared a mistrial, due to an 11-1 guilty verdict by the last jury that heard the evidence before Justice Roy Jones.
However, the entire 12-member jury in his retrial was convinced that Lundy had murdered Constable Curry outside the bar in 2005. The off-duty constable had been outside the bar on East Street that Sunday morning when he was shot in the back.
Trial prosecutor Anthony Delaney alleged that Lundy was responsible for the shooting, which took place around 2am, and that he made his escape in a black Chevy Monte Carlo. During the trial, two key witnesses – one a driver passing at the time, the other a relative of the victim who was at the club – testified that they saw the shooting and pointed out Lundy in court as the culprit.
Lundy maintained his innocence in both trials.
Lundy admitted at trial that he was in the area when the shooting occurred. According to him, he ran and ducked when he heard the gunshots.
Lundy said someone threw rocks at his car as he was leaving and he went to the police station to report the incident.
At his appeal, the court accepted the appellant’s lawyer Mario Gray’s argument that the trial judge appeared to have reversed the burden of proof from the prosecution to his client.
The appellate court exercised a provision in law, which allows the court to uphold a conviction in such instances.
The court found that notwithstanding the apparent error, there was no miscarriage of justice in Lundy’s case because the evidence against him was very strong. Garvin Gaskin, acting director of public prosecutions, represented the Crown in the appellate proceedings and was assisted by Floyd Moxey and David Cash.