By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE sentencing of two men and a teenager for murdering Queen’s College elementary teacher Joyelle McIntosh in 2015 has been delayed after counsel for one of the convicts argued against the “complete logical fallacy” of his client being convicted on both manslaughter and attempted murder.
David Cash, attorney for Armando Sergeant, submitted before Justice Bernard Turner yesterday that his client’s conviction on those two charges are illogical because whatever intent his client had to commit attempted murder would have to be consistent between the two charges in question.
Mr Cash submitted, as he did on December 12 when Sergeant and his two co-accused were convicted, that the jury returning a not guilty verdict for murder, and a subsequent guilty verdict for manslaughter, suggested his client did not have the “requisite intent” to commit the offence in question.
Conversely, however, he said the guilty verdict for the charge of attempted murder suggested Sergeant did in fact have the requisite intent.
Mr Cash also stated that based on the evidence, his client was not the shooter. Thus, he claimed, the attempted murder charge should be done away with.
In response, Director of Public Prosecutions Garvin Gaskins, assisted by Akeyra Saunders, questioned if Justice Turner, having accepted the jury’s verdict on December 12 and consequently discharging the jury, can revisit the issue without running afoul of the law.
He thus suggested, among other things, that Mr Cash should have sought to convince the court at that time not to accept the verdict concerning attempted murder, and that his client will have to take the matter up elsewhere.
Mr Gaskins further suggested that based on his submissions yesterday, Mr Cash was essentially telling Justice Turner that although he accepted the verdict, still he did not accept it.
“That’s illogical,” the DPP said.
In response, however, Mr Cash submitted that the issue was raised prior to the jury being discharged, and after he would have made his arguments, the Crown requested more time to respond. Thus, Mr Cash submitted that the issue was still “live” as a legal issue as Justice Turner had not ruled on it.
Justice Turner ultimately said he would make a ruling on Mr Cash’s submissions on March 15. The judge also adjourned the matter to the 21st and 22nd, at which time the Crown will continue its submissions concerning its seeking the death penalty for Johnny Mackey of Bonaby Alley, as well as to hear from the doctor who compiled the psychiatric report on him.
General submissions from counsel and the defence’s response to the Crown’s submissions will also take place on March 22.
In December, a 12-member jury returned a guilty verdict of murder for Mackey as well as the teenager accused in the matter, who cannot be named because he was charged as a minor.
Sergeant, was found not guilty by a vote of eight to four of murder, but was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts for all three accused on the attempted murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and attempted armed robbery charges.
At that time, Crown prosecutor Viola Barnett indicated the Crown’s intent to seek the death penalty for Mackey.
During trial, the jury was told the teenager, who was 17 at the time of the incident, along with Mackey and Sergeant attempted to rob McIntosh of her 2009 silver coloured Toyota Corolla worth $6,000.
During the failed carjacking, the victim was shot multiple times in her head and body. She later crashed into a wall at the intersection of Parkgate and Village Roads.
All three had denied the allegations.
During trial, however, Crown witness Detective Sergeant Kendra Wallace said the teenager admitted to shooting the fourth-grade teacher when interviewed on November 20, 2015 at the Central Detective Unit (CDU).
Det Sgt Wallace said the teenager made his initial confession to a social services employee in the presence of herself and the interviewing officer after alerting the officers that he needed to “get something off his chest”.
Det Sgt Wallace said the teenager, in speaking with the social services employee, said he felt bad about what he did and only did it because he wanted to steal the car McIntosh was driving.
Det Sgt Wallace said the teenager again confessed to committing the crime at the start of the actual record of interview, but denied participating in the interview process on the advice of his attorney.
The investigating officer, Sergeant Jamal Evans, said the teenager told police in his initial record of interview he was “sorry” and did not “mean to kill her”. At the time, Sgt Evans said the teenager “appeared to have some remorse” when he initially interviewed him on November 20, 2015.
Regarding Mackey and Sergeant, Det Sgt Wallace further said in her testimony how both men, in their records of interview on November 18, 2015, told officers the teenager was the one who shot McIntosh.
Det Sgt Wallace said Mackey – who the Crown charged was the person laying down in the middle of Parkgate Road on the night in question, thus causing McIntosh to swerve to avoid hitting him – admitted he did so but said it was because he caught a “cramp”.
Meanwhile, Sergeant, she said, admitted to having knowledge of the offence but denied shooting the deceased. According to Det Sgt Wallace, Sergeant said he saw when Mackey dropped to the ground and said he knew it would be a robbery.
As the car got near, he said the teenager approached and subsequently shot the deceased.
However, subsequent to the closure of the Crown’s case against them, all three convicts took to the witness stand and claimed they were all beaten by police to give false confessions concerning their alleged involvement in the crime.
Sergeant, in particular, claimed he was given a proposal by police so that he would identify the teenager as the shooter in the crime. After he denied the proposal, Sergeant said he was beaten and fish-bagged by officers to coerce him to comply.
Sergeant said he was ultimately made to sign documents pertaining to the initial interview, the contents of which were not true. Nonetheless, Sergeant said when he was arraigned for McIntosh’s murder on November 23, 2015, he was charged with three murders.
However, he said the other two murder charges were later dropped.