By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A woman who appealed against her 20-year sentence for conspiring to have her friend murdered has instead been ordered to serve an additional 15 years in prison for the crime.
Caryn Moss sobbed audibly as appellate Justice Stella Crane-Scott said her appeal was dismissed, and that she would instead be serving 35 years in prison for plotting O’Neil Marshall’s death in 2016.
Moss’ attorney, Murrio Ducille, informed the appellate court of his intent to appeal its decision to the London-based Privy Council, and asked for leave to do so yesterday.
However, Justice Crane-Scott as well as Justice Jon Isaacs informed the senior defence attorney that he would have to make an application in the proper fashion.
On April 30, 2016, Moss was picked up by a person she referred to as “Big Meech”, who took her to the airport to collect some keys.
During the ride to the airport, Moss and Big Meech concocted a plan in which she would pick up Marshall, a trusted friend of hers, around 10:30pm, drop him and the car that would be used to the end of Yorkshire Street, and that some guys would come later and “deal with the situation”, resulting in Marshall and his dead body being removed from Yorkshire Street.
Moss said “okay” to the plan and was told to call Big Meech when she picked up Marshall.
That night, Marshall was at Harvey’s Bar in Cable Beach playing poker and dominoes when he received a number of phone calls. Sometime around 10:30 that night, Moss, driving a right-hand drive silver Nissan Primera she claimed Big Meech gave to her, picked Marshall up near Harvey’s Bar.
She then drove three to five minutes away to Yorkshire Street, a dead end, as planned.
Moss, who also lived on Yorkshire Street, drove down to the end of the corner by the dead end, turned the car around to face the corner’s exit, and parked the car close against the wall of the Glenwood Condominiums. Marshall was sitting in the front passenger seat, on the same side as the wall.
Moss then told her friend she was going to get something to smoke, and subsequently ran into the condominiums to her godfather’s home.
While there, Moss heard a number of gunshots. Meanwhile, she asked her godfather to use the phone and pretended to make a call. When she left her godfather’s residence, she realized both O’Neill and the car was not where she had parked it. She subsequently walked home.
The following morning, Marshall’s partially burnt body, which was also riddled with multiple gunshot injuries, was found in the parking lot of the abandoned City Market on Market Street, inside the same Nissan Primera Moss picked him up in.
Moss was later arrested, cautioned, interviewed and charged for her involvement in Marshall’s murder. While in custody, she gave a statement to police outlining the details as to what she said happened on the night in question, as well as her previous interaction with her co-conspirators.
Moss was tried before Justice Carolita Bethel and a jury and was unanimously convicted of the offense. On November 27, 2018, Justice Bethel sentenced her to 20 years' imprisonment minus the time spent on remand, one year.
Moss appealed both her conviction and sentence, arguing that there was no evidence of conspiracy; that her defence of duress was never heard by the jury; and that the verdict against her was unreasonable and the sentence harsh and excessive.
Meanwhile, the Crown appealed Moss’ sentence on the grounds that her sentence was based on the wrong principles of law and thus unduly lenient.
The appellate court ultimately found no merit in any of Moss’ grounds of appeal, and also sided with the Crown’s assertion that her sentence was unduly lenient.
The appellate court said there was nothing in the trial judge’s findings that could justify such a “drastic departure” from the accepted scale established for a sentence concerning a conspiracy to commit murder conviction.
“Society’s displeasure of acts of this nature is reflected in the lengthy maximum sentence imposed by Parliament,” the appellate judges said. “It therefore follows that the court ought to recognise the offence of conspiracy to commit murder as a serious offence, especially where the murder, which was the subject of the conspiracy, has taken place and the penalty should reflect the seriousness of the offence”.