By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN was sentenced to 45 years in prison yesterday for his role in a murder that a judge described as “cold-blooded and calculated”.
Dyon Henry, 24, appeared before Justice Milton Evans to conclude the penalty phase of his trial in the August 31, 2013 shooting death of Robert McIntosh. Henry was convicted by a jury in July.
At a previous hearing last week, prosecutor Koschina Marshall told Justice Evans that Henry deserved no less than 40 years imprisonment when considering the 30-60 year sentence established by the Court of Appeal in the case of Larry Raymond Jones.
Ms Marshall noted that not only was it still “light out” on the day in question, but noted that a firearm was used in the commission of the offence and that the victim was struck in the neck, chest and upper extremities.
The prosecutor further noted that remorse was not shown for his part and that contrary to his claims of suffering abuse at the hands of police, Henry was videotaped walking police through what had transpired.
Terrel Butler, lawyer for Henry, argued that her client warranted a sentence on the lower range of the scale given his youth, lack of antecedents prior to conviction and his history of having worked up until the time of the incident.
She noted that her client had a single infraction since his incarceration at the Department of Correctional Services in the past three years.
Ms Butler also urged the court to consider that based on the evidence, her client was not the shooter.
However, Justice Evans yesterday said that the evidence did not paint Henry as playing a minor role in the incident.
“There was no altercation between the deceased and the convict and his accomplice. The deceased was called over to the car in which the convict and his accomplice were driving and when he approached, was shot multiple times,” the judge recalled.
“When he fell to the ground, an individual emerged from the car and stood over the deceased and shot him a few more times. The killing had the earmarks of an execution and was carried out in a cold blooded and calculated manner. I am not persuaded that the evidence shows he (Henry) was a passive party in the events which occurred.”
“The evidence of the firearms expert was that in his opinion based on tests done, two different guns were used in the incident. A witness also testified that two guns were heard firing and finally the evidence of the pathologist was that the wounds indicated that it was possible that there were two shooters,” Justice Evans added.
The judge said the manner in which the crime was committed is a significant aggravating factor.
“The fact that firearms were used is also a matter which must be considered. The prevalence of illegal firearms and the propensity of young men to use them is a grave concern. It is necessary for the court to send a clear message that such conduct will not be tolerated. In my view, the proper sentence must be geared toward ensuring that society is protected from the accused by preventing him as far as possible from repeating such an offence. The sentence should also serve as a deterrent to those who may be inclined to follow in his footsteps.”
The judge acknowledged Henry’s relative youth, lack of antecedents before the commission of the crime as mitigating factors in his favour.
The judge also said he could not hold lack of remorse against Henry given that he maintains his innocence.
“In all of the circumstances, I find that an appropriate sentence to be 45 years which is to run from date of conviction,” Justice Evans ruled.
The punishment was reduced by the 30 months spent on remand awaiting trial and sentence.
It means he will spend the next 42 years and six months at the Department of Correctional Services.
On July 7, Henry was unanimously convicted of McIntosh’s murder.
The trial opened on May 30 during which the prosecution called 25 witnesses.
The Crown alleged that Henry and a person referred to only as “Tones” planned the murder at Fat’s Bar in Nassau Village over a bottle of Hennessy.
After leaving the bar, “Tones” dropped Henry off at Charles Saunders Highway. From there, Henry walked to his home in Sir Lynden Pindling Estates, where he changed into a black shirt.
Henry then returned to the vehicle and he and “Tones” got a different car, a white Suzuki Baleno.
Henry and “Tones” drove west on Freeman Smith Subdivision in Nassau Village where they saw McIntosh walking and called out to him.
McIntosh, who approached the car, was shot 11 times and police found shell casings from both a 9mm and .45 from the scene.
The gunmen fled the scene and turned north on Taylor Street and south on Soldier Road.
Henry, when taken into police custody, had purportedly given a caution statement explaining the circumstances.
However, his lawyer argued that Henry gave the statement under duress, police brutality and threats of further harm.
The defence further claims that police had coached Henry to point out areas in Nassau Village on camera and they allegedly threatened to shoot him if he refused.
Henry also alleged that he was never advised of his right to remain silent or told that he could consult a lawyer.
Sagina Pratt, a probation officer at the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services, produced a report of her interview with the convict and others related to him.
His family and friends described him as a reserved and respectful individual.
Henry maintained he did not commit the murder and said that he was at the Junkanoo Summer Festival on the day in question where a fight had occurred in the vicinity.
He’d thought police had arrested him concerning the fight but later discovered that it was in relation to murder.
Henry has 21 days to lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the conviction and sentence. Failing to do so, he can apply for an extension but will have to convince the appellate court that his appeal is likely to succeed.