Rickets and Henry verdict delayed until Monday

| 18/02/2010

(CNS): The two men accused of murdering Estella Scott Roberts in October 2008 will have to wait three more days to find out if they will be spending the rest of their lives in prison or not. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie was scheduled to deliver his ruling and verdict tomorrow morning (Friday 19 February) but the hearing has now been rescheduled to Monday 22 February. Kirkland Henry and Larry Ricketts both pleaded not guilty to murder, but Henry has pleaded guilty to abduction rape and robbery in a trial which ended on 12 February.

At the close of the trial last week the chief justice, who was presiding over the case without a jury, heard Ricketts’ attorney claim his client was not there and that the confession he signed was fabricated by the police. By contrast, Henry’s attorney claimed that his client was there and witnessed Ricketts commit the murder.

In presenting its case, the crown stated that both men were there on the night of the crime and, while only one of them may have physically killed the deceased, their crime was a joint enterprise in which they were both equally culpable.

In a trial where the judge sits without a jury he is obliged to give a full explanation for his verdict in a ruling, setting out the legal and evidential reasons for his decision.

If the two men are convicted they will both be given a mandatory life sentence. If Ricketts is found not guilty he will walk away a free man. However, if Henry is found not guilty of murder he will be sentenced at a later date for the three crimes to which he has confessed and admitted his guilt.

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