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Man Must Wait Two Months For Sentencing In Murder Case

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN seeking to appeal his sentence for the murder of a utility technician must wait another two months before his application is heard.

Leslie Webster, 57, appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday for his expected hearing of an extension of time application concerning his formal challenge to a 60-year sentence imposed by the Supreme Court for the 2001 murder of Garfield Wright.

At a hearing on January 31, Webster’s lawyer, Glendon Rolle, filed documents in support of the application and the matter was adjourned to April 4 for the hearing.

However, Mikia Cooper, who appeared on behalf of Mr Rolle yesterday, sought an adjournment as the latter was out of the jurisdiction and the request had not been objected to by Crown respondents Olivia Nixon and Bradford McKenzie.

Court of Appeal President Justice Dame Anita Allen said based on the court’s file, the undertaking by the appellant’s counsel was not carried out.

However, the appellate court adjourned the matter to June.

Wright, a 40-year-old Cable Bahamas line technician, was stabbed 16 times about the body with a knife as he tried to protect his 10-year-old daughter from an intruder during a break-in at the family home in Fiddler’s Green in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Webster was linked to the crime scene through DNA taken from fingernail clippings and a confession statement after he was arrested by police. He was unanimously convicted by a jury in March 2005 and sentenced to death.

However, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 2006 ruled that the country’s then mandatory death penalty upon a murder conviction was unconstitutional.

His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment afterwards and at a re-sentencing hearing in February, 2011, before then Senior Justice Jon Isaacs, he received a 60-year sentence.

He is now seeking to challenge that punishment on the grounds that it is excessively harsh.

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