Xavier “Bounty” Lynch fetches 11 years in jail for manslaughter
CAMERAS IN Middle Street did not catch the full encounter between two young men said to be from rival groups, but they caught enough to implicate a 20-year-old in the killing of a 21-year-old Sion Hill resident.
The seconds that are not seen on camera are crucial, according to defence counsel Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, because they would show that her client, Xavier ‘Bounty’ Lynch ,was attacked by the now deceased, Kesroy King.
“(Lynch) is seen up to 7:35.26secs and he jumps off the scene – and also a school child who was walking on the opposite side – and then he reappears at 7:35.46 and he is seen running behind the deceased, who is already injured, and (Lynch) has this time a cutlass and a knife in his hand,” Bacchus-Baptiste said at her client’s sentencing for manslaughter last Friday, July 23, at the High Court.
“The crucial seconds, there were 20 seconds not seen on the tape, are necessary footage to show that according to the accused, the deceased was walking on the opposite side of the road, upon seeing him the deceased crossed over to his side of the road, and took a cutlass that was in the arm of his long sleeve shirt and attacked him,” she insisted.
The knife was Lynch’s and he had it with him because he was going to work at his fruit stall, she said. The counsel said that she thinks it is accepted that the cutlass came from King, as the cameras caught her client walking before the incident, and there was nowhere he could have hidden a cutlass.
“What is also interest-ing… though (Lynch) is seen firing chops at the back of the deceased, none of them appeared to have connected, so that the injuries that the deceased got must have been when they were struggling and when (Lynch) was defending himself.”
She submitted that when her client was satisfied that King was running away, the cameras showed he turned back.
“I think it was in keeping with the fact that you can’t measure self defence to a nicety, he only pursued him about eight or so seconds after, but he felt within all the circumstances that it can be regarded that it was excessive self defence, he had no need to pursue him,” and this is why they decided that he would accept the charge of manslaughter,” she said.
Lynch himself apparently sustained a cut to the forehead, some cuts to his hands, and bruises on his forearm.
The reason why the youngster did not turn himself in was because he had some debts owing in a criminal matter, the lawyer explained, and pointed out that he did eventually turn himself in when he realised the police were looking for him.
Bacchus-Baptiste also argued that some time before this incident, Lynch had been attacked by a gang which allegedly included the deceased and was hospitalised. “…His head was busted with a plank, and he was struck, I think it was an icepick, and had to take stitches, so that again would have caused him to be very cautious and not just allowed himself to be beaten to death this time.”
The now-24-year-old is said to have shown remorse about the killing. “Me aint wish dead upon nobody so I find some little sort of sympathy that it happened and he dead yeah” he was quoted by his attorney as saying during an interview with the police.
Lynch also apparently commented, “I feel bad that if he have to dead, I rather he been live, he coulda live.”
Now, as an inmate at Her Majesty’s Prisons, he is said to be devout. He may be one of the only ones who falls to his knees and prays, Bacchus- Baptiste told the court, and he is an influence in this regard to the prisoners. Lynch has a strong belief, and he has communicated this to other inmates, that if he didn’t recite the 23rd psalm on that morning before the incident, he would be dead.
The prosecution, led by crown counsel Rose-Ann Richardson, also put forward its arguments on the matter.
From the agreed facts, read by Justice Brian Cottle last Friday, it would seem that Lynch is not the only one who previously suffered an attack on his person. Before the incident, on September 15, 2017, the deceased, King, was on a bus when he was approached by two associates of Lynch, who wielded cutlasses and were said to be intent on attacking him. On that occasion he was able to escape.
Four days later he wasn’t so lucky. The attack occurred in the early morning at around 7:35. When the camera picks up Lynch chasing a fleeing King, there appeared to be blood stains on the right side of the back of King’s shirt. “He struck several blows at the fleeing man, then abandoned his chase and ran away,” the Judge noted.
A post mortem examination revealed that King had several stab wounds. He was wounded to the neck, chest; there were two stab wounds to the back, and one wound to his left arm.
Considering the four pillars- retribution, deterrence, protection of the public and rehabilitation of the offender as he moved to speak on the sentencing, Justice Cottle first considered the level of seriousness, and found it to be at medium level.
“Counsel for the prosecution and counsel for the defence are in general agreement with this, and this is because death was caused in the course of an unlawful act which was in defence of self and not amounting to a defence in law,” Cottle noted.
He weighed the aggravating and mitigating factors having set a starting point of 12 years incarceration from a range of six to 16 years.
“…The offence was committed in the presence of a child,” the judge listed, and “occurred in a public street in capital city Kingstown, the time the children are usually on their way to school.”
Lynch used a bladed weapon and was captured on footage, “brandishing a cutlass and a knife as he chased after the victim”, and tried to conceal the evidence.
There were no mitigating features of the offence itself.
As for the offender himself, Lynch has a conviction for robbery using a knife, but this was not considered in this case because it happened a long time ago.
On the other hand, he was very young at the time of the killing, and surrendered to the police.
He also took the police to where he said he disposed of the knife, and said that the deceased attacked him first. He had also been the victim in a cutlass attack by the deceased. His remorse was also considered.
The sentence was adjusted downwards taking these things into account, to 11 years.
Admitting his guilt afforded him a discount of one third of this sentence.
The final sentence is therefore seven years, and four months.
Lynch had already been in prison for three years, and ten months, and so from last Friday, he has three years and six months.