Ricketts will be tried on further charges

| 06/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman court news(CNS): Despite the fact that Larry Ricketts has been sentenced to life in prison, he will still face trial for the remaining charges against him regarding the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts. The trial date was set by the court on Friday afternoon when both men appeared to address the outstanding indictments. Ricketts has pleaded not guilty to robbery and abduction, and the case will be heard in October. Kirkland Henry has pleaded guilty to abduction, rape and robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced for those crimes on Monday. Both men have also now appealed their murder convictions, which were handed down by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie on 22 February.

The men were tried for the murder separately in accordance with the law, hence the outstanding charges still have to be dealt with. Henry could be facing three more life sentences as the maximum sentences set down for all three crimes is life in prison. However, his attorney, Ben Tonner, told the court on Friday that there were mitigating circumstances in Henry’s case which included his early admission to these three crimes and the fact that he was instrumental in assisting the police to arrest Larry Ricketts.

Tonner pointed out that, given the uncertainty of Ricketts’ immigration status at the time, he was days away from leaving the island and were it not for his client’s admissions and information that helped the police to track him, he could have left the jurisdiction. Finally, priory to his involvement in these crimes, 27-year-old Henry had been of good character and had no previous convictions, Tonner said.

While Henry has admitted his guilt to three crimes, he denied murdering Scott-Roberts and pointed to Ricketts as the killer. Ricketts, however, although convicted alongside Henry for murder, is still insisting he was not at the scene of the crime, which took place in October 2008. Although the 26-year-old Jamaican national confessed to police after his arrest, he has denied that confession and accused officer of fabricating the evidence.

During the murder trial it was revealed in a voir dire that when Ricketts had been arrested he was not immediately taken to the custody suite but was taken to Detective Superintendant Marlon Bodden’s office, where a statement was taken from Ricketts. However, Ricketts attorneys managed to get the information excluded as the judge ruled that Bodden had not followed the correct police procedure when the convicted killer was first taken to the George Town Police Station.

If Ricketts is convicted of the robbery and the abduction, his sentencewill run concurrently with his mandatory life sentence, as will be the case for the sentence awarded to Henry, but this is more than merely an academic exercise. If either of the two convicted killers has the murder conviction overturned at appeal, the sentences for these outstanding charges will still stand unless overturned in a separate appeal case.

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