Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kim Hollis has told Justice Nicola Byer – who is tasked with sentencing Kenyatta Boynes for murder – that the convict should not spend his whole life in prison as his situation is not the ‘worst’.
Boynes is convicted for murdering Paul Prentice and attempting to murder another man in Road Town in December 2014.
His sentencing was delayed in the High Court yesterday, January 12.
When Boynes appeared before Justice Byer, DPP Hollis stated that, although murder and attempted murder are very serious offences, “the situation doesn’t require a whole life order.”
She added that whole life orders are for the “worst of the worst”.
However, Hollis noted that the aggravating factors of Boyne’s offences make him fall a little below life without parole.
“It’s just short of a whole life order,” she said.
Hollis further noted that the time and place where Boynes shot and killed Prentice were major aggravating factors.
“The shooter (Boynes) had a total disregard for the persons around… There were many members of the public passing through the area, including children.”
Other aggravating factors, she noted, were that Boynes intended to kill, and has previous convictions. The DPP also stated that the murder was drug-related and premeditated.
Defence attorney Patrick Thompson, in the meantime, noted that ‘intent to kill’ is already implied with a murder conviction.
“The offence is already serious and ‘intent to kill’ would not make the offence any more serious,” Thompson argued.
He also challenged DPP Hollis’ argument that ‘intent’ is borne out in the fact that Boynes scoped out the area of the shooting before committing the deadly attack.
The defence attorney added that his client being in the area before the shooting does not necessarily prove that the murder was premeditated.
He further argued that the motive for the killing, up to this point, is still mainly speculative.
Though both the defence and the prosecution made submissions in relation to how Boynes should be punished, the sentencing was delayed.
Among the reasons for the delay is the court’s uncertainty as to when Boynes’ sentence should officially start, considering that he is currently serving roughly seven years for an unrelated case of gun possession.
According to Justice Byer, the difficulty is deciding whether Boynes’ latest sentence should start from when he was first charged and remanded for murder (in December 2014), or after he completes the seven-year sentence he is already serving.
Apparently, the law is not clear on how to deal with sentencing when the offender is already serving time for another offence.
Boynes sentencing was rescheduled to January 27.
Ahead of that date, the prosecution and defence are expected to submit further written arguments on how they think the convict should be punished.
On October 25 last year, a nine-member jury convicted Boynes of murder and attempted murder.
A post mortem done on Prentice’s body showed that the 22-year-old resident of Duffs Bottom on Tortola died from a single gunshot wound to the heart.
The court has heard that he was not the shooter’s target.
The target is the man who was shot and wounded in the attack. The wounded man, whose identity the court said should not be published, was the persecution’s star witness in the case.
That star witness claimed that he was probably marked for death because he took, without permission, some of the marijuana Boynes had given him to secure.