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John to be sentenced for shooting death of vendor

John to be sentenced for  shooting death of vendor

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Layou resident, Raphael “Butterbread” John will be sentenced for causing the death of Ashley “Seymour” Warren, pending a social inquiry report.{{more}}

John, who was initially charged with murder, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter when he reappeared at the High Court on November 11.

When the matter was called for hearing on Monday, November 10, John’s lawyer Ronald Marks, indicated to the court that he needed some time to go through the transcript of an electronic interview with his client.

The matter was adjourned to the following day, at which point the defence was not ready to proceed and a further adjournment was granted for one hour, so that Marks and his client could have another look at the interview.

After viewing the interview and discussing the matter with the prosecution, the defence offered to enter a plea of guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

Warren, a fruit vendor, succumbed to a single bullet to his neck, after leaving his fruit stall at Tokyo to carry out a transaction at Long Wall, on January 22, 2009.

The case for the crown was that John was part of a joint enterprise with Colin David and his brother Junior David to rob the deceased.

Colin David, who had also been charged with Warren’s murder, had been released from custody in November 2012, after Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams discontinued the case against him, at the High Court Criminal Assizes.

According to the facts, Colin led the deceased to believe that he had a gun for sale. The deceased went to Long Wall to purchase the gun where he met Colin and John in the road.

Colin told the deceased that John would take him to the man who had the gun to sell. John took the deceased up a dirt track into a bushy area, where Junior David was waiting.

The crown stated that Junior wearing a black mask over his face and a pair of black gloves, and was holding a gun in his hand.

According to the facts, Junior pointed the gun at the deceased and asked him for the money he had brought to buy the gun. When Warren indicated that the money was in his car, Junior fired off one shot which caught the deceased in his neck.

The deceased ran until he reached his vehicle and was driven to the Central Police Station by an occupant who was waiting in the car.

Warren later succumbed to his injuries at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

This was the second time Raphael John had been charged in connection with Warren’s murder.

On February 16, 2009, John, then 22, was first charged, along with Colin David and David’s brother, Junior.

However, the charges against John and Junior were dropped after John agreed to testify for the crown against Colin David.

Junior was shot and killed before the case commenced.

John had given evidence for the crown at the Preliminary Inquiry, but failed to show up to give evidence at the high court.

As a result, the case against Colin collapsed and a decision was taken to reinstate the charge against John in 2012.(KW)

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