Lawyer says teen accused of attempted murder should not serve time in prison

Both the defense and the prosecution have agreed that a 15-year-old boy convicted of attempted murder should not serve his time in prison.

The teen, who was on bail pending his trial, was remanded to the juvenile section of The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services following his conviction in June.

He inflicted a life-threatening stab injury on another 15-year-old during a lunchtime fight at the Anatol Rodgers High School on September 12, 2022.

The convict was initially ganged by several other students who punched, kicked and stomped him. Following the attack, the teen stabbed a student who was watching the fight in the back before he ran away.

During a sentencing hearing before Justice Franklyn Williams, KC, Public Defender Stanley Rolle suggested a sentence of probation and a compensatory order.

Rolle cited cases where adults were sentenced to probation in murder cases.

He said if the court determined a custodial sentence was warranted it should be served at the Simpson Penn School For Boys rather than the prison.

While on remand at the prison, Rolle said the convict had been subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. He said the teen had expressed concerns about pressures to join gangs for protection while at the juvenile section of the facility.

Rolle said that the convict, a former honor roll student, was already at a disadvantage educationally due to his conviction. He said the teen could not be enrolled at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute because of the conviction and that public schools are not required to enroll students beyond the age of 16.

The prosecutor, Bradford McKenzie, asked for a custodial sentence but suggested that the sentence served at the boys school.

A probation officer said that the convict’s behavior while on remand has been exemplary. She said that his grades dropped when he succumbed to peer pressure and started smoking marijuana and joined a gang.

According to Rolle, the convict has since distanced himself from the gang.

The teen remains on remand at the prison until Williams gives his sentencing decision next month.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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