Friday, 28 October 2022 11:45

Westmoreland killer's sentence overturned from 12 years to life in prison

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The Crown on Friday registered a historic win with the granting of the first appeal under the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act, 2021 against Lindel Powell, otherwise called Lazarus, who was convicted for two counts of murder in a 2017 Westmoreland incident.

Instead of the 12 years handed down to Powell by the sentencing judge, he will now serve two life sentences and at hard labour.

In the ruling handed down Friday morning, the Court, which heard arguments and submissions in May this year but reserved its judgment, ordered that the sentences imposed by the learned sentencing judge be quashed and the life sentences imposed instead.

On Count one, the Appeal Court ordered that Powell serve life in prison with a stipulation that he serves 20 years and seven months at hard labour before becoming eligible for parole.

On count two, the tribunal ordered that Powell serve life in prison with the stipulation that he serve 24 years and seven months at hard labour before becoming eligible for parole. The sentences are to run concurrently and are to be treated as having commenced on the date on which they were imposed. He will effectively serve the longest of the two sentences, meaning the 24 years and seven months.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in December of 2021 served notice that it would appeal the 12-year sentence handed down to Powell, who had confessed to the two counts of murder.

The historic appeal which was brought before the Appeal Court in May this year was the first to be filed under the Judicature (Appellate Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act, 2021.

The ODPP, which sought to have the 12-year prison term imposed on Powell significantly increased, said the Crown had recommended life imprisonment with eligibility after 21 years for each count during the original sentencing exercise. That bid was however dismissed by Justice Bertram Morrison who tried the matter.

Powell was taken into custody after being held with a firearm belonging to Oral McIntosh, a licensed firearm holder, who was shot dead at his home at Top Lincoln District, Grange Hill, Westmoreland on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

During a question and answer interview held on July 15, 2017, Powell indicated that he was in the company of Logan Miller, otherwise called Alkaline (now deceased), on the day of the murder.

Powell confessed that he and Alkaline were on the road robbing men and women when he saw two men in a yard. He went to them and said “go pon unnu face”. While the men were on the ground, he searched McIntosh's van while Alkaline searched the men. He said that Alkaline found a gun on McIntosh, shot him in his head, and took the gun. They also took the slain man's phone and about $32,000 in cash.

Powell also confessed to the murder of a man named Ika Clarke in March 2017 at Mount Mountain, Grange Hill, Westmoreland.

When he was asked what part he played in that murder, he said, “Fire five shot inna him chest.”

He also stated that Clarke was killed because “him did a mek talk seh mi cousin Bleachers cyaan bury an den mi a go dead an him already kill one a mi fren', Jabez”. Additionally, Powell said that the gun that the police found on him on July 14, 2017 was one of the weapons used to kill Clarke.