Man gets 22 years in jail for killing over claimed bike theft

Stabroek News - - STARBROEK NEWS -

Months af­ter the Court of Ap­peal over­turned his death sen­tence and or­dered a re­trial, a Laing Av­enue man was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to 22 years and ten months in prison for killing a man over the claimed theft of a mo­tor­cy­cle.

While in 2013 a jury had found Terry Kis­soon guilty of mur­der­ing Troy Smith, at his re­trial the jury found him guilty of man­slaugh­ter.

Start­ing from a base of 25 years, Jus­tice Sandil Kis­soon yes­ter­day de­ducted seven years for time the ac­cused spent on re­mand. How­ever, he added three years for two pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for armed rob­bery and un­law­ful wound­ing recorded against the ac­cused. An­other two years were added to the sen­tence for the fact that the ac­cused used a gun in the com­mis­sion of the rob­bery, even though he re­peat­edly de­nied this at the sen­tenc­ing.

While the con­vict ex­pressed re­morse over the death of Smith and had re­sponded in the af­fir­ma­tive when asked by the judge if he was tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the act, the pro­ba­tion re­port done by Pro­ba­tion and So­cial Ser­vices Of­fi­cer Brook Bar­clay found that he had con­tin­ued to deny he com­mit­ted the crime.

The judge pointed out to him that if he had taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions prior to the trial, he would have ben­e­fited from an au­to­matic one third re­duc­tion of his sen­tence.

Bar­clay, in his re­port to the court, stated that the ac­cused, the third of nine chil­dren, grew up in a sta­ble home en­vi­ron­ment with both mother and fa­ther but he dropped out of school early and later be­came a trades­man and a miner. Be­cause the fam­ily is of East In­dian de­scent and they grew up in a pre­dom­i­nantly African neigh­bour­hood, there were in­stances of bul­ly­ing which saw Kis­soon re­tal­i­at­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The con­vict mar­ried at a young age and the union pro­duced four chil­dren (ages 22, 21, 20 and 15) but the cou­ple later sep­a­rated. In 2003, he was con­victed of armed rob­bery and sen­tenced to some 32 months in prison.

The re­port said Kis­soon’s rel­a­tives ex­pressed shock at his killing Smith as they de­scribed him as a lov­ing and de­pend­able in­di­vid­ual. Many res­i­dents of his area also spoke pos­i­tively about Kis­soon and said he had men­tored their male chil­dren and they asked that he be given an­other chance. How­ever, there were a few who de­scribed him as a crim­i­nal and a bully and they said he and Smith were known to each other, a fact Kis­soon had con­tin­u­ously de­nied. One res­i­dent even de­scribed Kis­soon and Smith as friends.

In the prison sys­tem, the re­port said, Kis­soon was ini­tially known as the leader of ri­otous acts and it was while there that he was con­victed for wound­ing. Later, he changed his ways, it said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the rel­a­tives of Smith said he died and left a seven-year-old child and that Kis­soon had robbed them of an in­di­vid­ual who was lov­ing and very pro­tec­tive of his fam­ily. He was also de­scribed as a pil­lar of the fam­ily, whose mem­bers are still griev­ing his loss. They called for jus­tice. They also noted that they have been threat­ened by Kis­soon’s girl­friend.

Not­with­stand­ing ev­ery­thing

that was said in sup­port of Kis­soon, Bar­clay asked the court to take cog­ni­sance of the fact that a life was lost and the pain of the rel­a­tives when de­cid­ing on a sen­tence.

Kis­soon was in De­cem­ber, 2013, sen­tenced to death by Jus­tice Diana In­sanally af­ter he was found guilty of the mur­der.

The pros­e­cu­tion had said that Kis­soon, who was tried in the De­mer­ara As­sizes, fa­tally shot Smith on July 30th, 2010, af­ter ac­cus­ing him of steal­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle. Af­ter flee­ing, he was held more than a year later in Lethem.

Kis­soon, when called upon to lead his de­fence, had then elected to give an unsworn state­ment, claim­ing that he was 300 miles away in the in­te­rior when Smith was killed. Kis­soon also claimed he was wrong­fully iden­ti­fied by Smith’s brother, Shawn Smith, who had tes­ti­fied dur­ing the High Court trial that he had seen Kis­soon hold­ing a gun in his hand.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, Kis­soon went to Smith’s Lot 108 Thomas Street, Kitty home just be­fore 7 am on the day of the shoot­ing and ac­cused him of steal­ing his mo­tor­cy­cle. He later told Smith that he had 24 hours to re­turn it. The allegations led to a heated ar­gu­ment dur­ing which Smith was shot once in the left side of his ab­domen be­fore Kis­soon fled the area.

The in­jured man was rushed to the Ge­orge­town Hos­pi­tal by rel­a­tives but was pro­nounced dead on ar­rival.

Terry Kis­soon

Troy Smith

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