By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A SECOND man has had his hopes of contesting his conviction for attempting to murder another man during a botched armed robbery seven years ago dashed by the Court of Appeal.
The appellate court dismissed Rashad McPhee’s application for more time in which to appeal a jury’s finding that he tried to kill Hueton Lloyd Jr while trying to rob him of his Honda Accord in 2012.
That comes less than a year after Errol Knowles, McPhee’s cousin and the one who eventually killed Lloyd, had his application for more time, and consequently his intended appeal, dismissed.
According to reports, Lloyd was seated in his red Honda Accord around 2am on Key West Street when Knowles and McPhee, tried to rob him at gunpoint. Lloyd was shot multiple times after resisting the robbery attempt.
According to McPhee’s statement that he gave to police under caution, on May 12, 2012, he, Knowles and another individual named Carlos Darville were travelling west on Key West Street after having left the Village Pub because a group of boys had confronted them.
He said the trio ended up encountering Lloyd, who was in a red Honda Accord. McPhee said Knowles subsequently approached Lloyd and told him to get out of the car. Lloyd refused. McPhee said Knowles then pulled out a gun. Lloyd then got out of the car. However, McPhee said when Lloyd reached for his waist, Knowles shot him.
McPhee said Lloyd consequently ran from his car and away from Knowles, but the latter ran behind him and shot him five times.
McPhee said afterwards, he and Knowles went to Lloyd’s car and Knowles attempted to start it. However, it didn’t start, and the trio took off running, eventually splitting up in the process.
McPhee said a few days later, Knowles told him not to tell anyone about what happened or else he would kill him. Additionally, McPhee was interviewed twice by police over the matter, with his mother present, and on both occasions, he admitted to shooting and killing Lloyd.
In the second interview, however, and in response to a question by the officer conducting the interview, McPhee said he admitted to shooting and killing Lloyd “because I scared of Errol”.
The contents of Darville’s statement mirrored that of McPhee, only the former’s was a bit more detailed. He said that on the date in question, he, McPhee and Knowles were by Larry’s Pub hanging out when a gang of boys from the north side of Key West went to the club where they were and approached McPhee. Darville said it looked as if they wanted to “start something”, but he said he wasn’t interested in anything like that.
Thus, Darville said, he told McPhee and Knowles that they should leave, which they did. He said the trio walked south on Key West Street. However, when they got near to a church on Key West Street, a red car pulled up to a house and a woman got out and went inside that residence.
Darville said Knowles subsequently said: “Let’s take this car”, to which Darville said he replied by saying, “No, bey, I ain’t into that”. However, Darville said Knowles responded by saying: “This getting cut.”
Darville said when Knowles approached the car, McPhee opened the passenger door and Knowles jumped in the seat. Darville said Knowles pointed the gun at the man and ordered him to get out of the car. However, Darville said the man hit something under the steering wheel, causing the car to shut off.
Afterwards, Darville said the man opened the car door and ran south on Key West Street. Knowles, he said, gave chase and fired the gun at him, causing the man to fall by a nearby car. Meanwhile, Darville said he had already started to move towards a particular shortcut in order to get to his house on Palm Beach Street. Darville said when he looked back, Knowles was in the car’s driver seat and McPhee was standing outside of the car looking at him.
Darville said he consequently ran home and stayed awake, and was able to hear the various police cars swarming on Key West Street. The next day, Darville said he heard people talking about how a man had been killed on Key West Street. He said it was at that point that he knew the man from earlier was dead.
Darville said that same day, he saw Knowles who kept staring at him. Darville said when he asked Knowles what was wrong, Knowles replied: “How you mean, what this look like, a game?” Darville said he could see Knowles was “looking for problems”, so he walked off. He also said he saw McPhee about two days later, but said they didn’t talk about what had happened.
On February 15, 2016, following a trial before Justice Indra Charles, McPhee was convicted of the armed robbery and attempted armed robbery, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge.
Knowles, meanwhile, was convicted of murder, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery. On October 21, 2016, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for armed robbery and ten years for attempted armed robbery, with both sentences to run concurrently.
The sentences were reduced to give credit for the time Knowles had previously spent on remand, resulting in him having to serve eight years and three months from the date of sentencing.
Concerning the murder conviction, Knowles was sentenced "to be detained during the Court's pleasure with his detention being reviewed after 20 years".
Knowles subsequently appealed Justice Charles' decision, but did so over a year later. The reason he gave for the delay was that he was confused about the procedure and time frame to appeal.
However, the appellate judges said his explanation was "unacceptable", and found that it could not account for the "substantial" and "inordinate" delay in making the application.
And concerning McPhee, the appellate judges said notwithstanding him having two grounds of appeal that had merit, the challenge to the conviction as being unsafe could not succeed.
Marianne Cadet represented McPhee on appeal. Cassie Bethel and Eucal Bonaby represented the Crown.