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Convicted killer subdued after courtroom brawl

Convicted killer subdued after courtroom brawl

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Courtroom drama took on a new meaning for the persons present at the High Court in Kingstown on Thursday, December 18th.{{more}}

The matter being dealt with was the sentencing of convicted murderer Shorn Samuel. Samuel, who was found guilty of the December 11, 2006, murder by decapitation of 21-year-old Stacy Wilson, was sentenced to death by His Lordship Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle.

Samuel, a resident of Vermont, didn’t take kindly to his sentence and lashed out at the judge and police, which had spectators and furniture going in every direction.

When told to stand for the reading of the penalty for his crime, which was described by the judge as the most heinous, barbaric and brutal in the history of this country, the 37-year-old man hurled obscenities at the judge in a fit of rage.

“You’re sentenced to death!”

Samuel shouted at the judge, as he attempted to throw the blue blazer that he was wearing in His Lordship’s direction.

“You’re full of s**t,” he screamed.

As Samuel was being restrained by police officers who tried to handcuff him, a fight broke out between him and the peacekeepers, which resulted in a number of them receiving blows from the killer.

It was another officer, Station Sergeant Trevor Bailey, who was sitting in plainclothes in the spectators’ area at the time, who grabbed Samuel from behind, making it easier for the other officers, some with their guns drawn, to handcuff and subdue the prisoner.

As Samuel was taken from the court kicking and screaming, he shouted: “I am not afraid. Allah will protect me.”

The incident had many persons inside the courtroom, including a group of second year Law students from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Emelia Nanton, the mother of the victim, courthouse staff and reporters covering the proceedings, visibly shaken.

Outside, as Samuel was being led back to Her Majesty’s Prison by the tense but restrained officers, outraged onlookers were heard saying: “Shoot him. Kill him.”

Prior to the chaos that erupted, the court had heard a psychiatric report and social enquiry report which painted a picture of drug abuse, trips to mental institutions and social imbalance.

The reports also indicated that Samuel was not insane at the time when he killed and dismembered Wilson at the Leeward bus stop just over two years ago, in front of hundreds of commuters, as the 2002 graduate of the Girls’ High School made her way home from work.

Before passing sentence on Samuel, also known by his Islamic name Abdur Raheem Parsons, Bruce-Lyle agreed with Director of Public Prosecutions Collin Williams that the object of punishment cannot be achieved by terms of years or even life imprisonment.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the accused decided to kill the deceased on the 11th of December.”

“It is my view that this obviously premeditated, barbaric, extremely brutal and vicious spectacle will in no doubt traumatize all who witnessed this… it sends chills down my spine.”

In passing judgement, the judge disagreed with counsel for Samuel, Lawyer Stephen Williams that justice would be served if the accused were kept away from society.

Stephen Williams also asked that his client’s medical and childhood history be taken into consideration.

“The only appropriate punishment that can be imposed is the death penalty,” the judge stated.

“He had the opportunity to attend the country’s premier secondary school (The St. Vincent Grammar School). He travelled to the U.S and other places and had the opportunity to better himself, but chose petty crime until this grave deed. The punishment fits the crime.”

Meanwhile, Wilson’s mother, who had a shoe damaged in the courtroom melee, said that although she expected the death sentence, she is not optimistic that Samuel will go to the gallows.

She said that the void left with the death of her daughter could never be filled.

“I often see they sentence people to hang and they come back out,” she said. “I want him to hang.”

“Even though they sentence Shorn to death, that can’t make me feel as before.”

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