By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THEA Williams was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Supreme Court judge yesterday for stabbing teenage mother Breanna Mackey to death last year because she broke her friend’s cellphone.
Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson sentenced the 22-year-old to 25 years minus the time she has spent on remand, a year and some four months, in pursuance of a plea agreement her attorney reached with the Crown.
She is further ordered to undergo one year of counselling, inclusive of anger management lessons, and another year of probation upon completion of her sentence. She will be 46-years-old by the time that comes around.
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old woman whose name has been withheld because she was charged as a minor, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with Mackey’s death. She is also ordered to serve one year’s probation after completing her sentence.
Prior to receiving her sentence, and as part of a plea deal, she pleaded not guilty to murdering Mackey, but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Her sentence is non-inclusive of any further time deductions.
Justice Grant-Thompson further noted that she will direct the commissioner of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) not to house the pair with two other girls allegedly involved in the killing for their own safety until they stand trial over Mackey’s death.
The judge further noted she would ask the commissioner to ensure both women have access to educational opportunities so as to allow them both to be in a position to make a positive contribution to society once they are finished serving their sentences.
Another accused, who is currently on bail awaiting trial, returns to court next week Monday.
Mackey, a mother of one, was stabbed to death on January 25, 2018, the day after celebrating her 19th birthday.
According to the facts read off by prosecutor Cephia Pinder-Moss, sometime around 5.48pm on the date in question, police control room was contacted about reports that a female was stabbed about the body in the Key West Street area off Cordeaux Avenue. A crew of police officers was consequently dispatched to investigate.
Upon their arrival, a female who was identified as the victim’s sister, Latisha Woodside, directed officers to a brown and white two-storey apartment complex situated on the eastern side of Key West Street. On the porch, just in front of door number 9, officers discovered a semi-conscious female lying face down suffering from four stab wounds to the upper back and two stab wounds to the right arm.
The woman, later revealed to be Mackey, was subsequently transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital where she died around 8.28pm.
Further investigations led officers to arrest Williams who, when interviewed on the matter, admitted to killing Mackey.
The 18-year-old, meanwhile, admitted her involvement in the offence in that she knew of the weapon used to kill Mackey, and that she also kicked the deceased during the fatal altercation.
Prior to sentencing the pair yesterday, Justice Grant-Thompson called Mackey’s death a “senseless” and “inexplicable” killing motivated by some of the “most trivial and spurious” set of circumstances.
She further noted that society is “saddened” by such sentencing exercises, and suggested they represented a lose-lose situation in that Mackey, a young person, lost her life, and two other young persons were sentenced in relation to her death.
However, the judge encouraged the pair to use the experience to change their lives so that “all is not lost”, particularly Williams, whom she noted initially tried to “take responsibility” for killing Mackey by pleading guilty to murdering her when formally arraigned before her last year.
Williams, as well as the 18-year-old, both sobbed audibly as the judge commented on the matter, though Williams’ cries were noticeably more demonstrative. Both of them declined to comment when asked if they would like to say something before their respective sentences were passed.
They were subsequently led out of the courtroom one by one to begin serving their prison sentences.
Joseph D’Arceuil represented Williams, while Sonia Timothy represented the 18-year-old.