Men Get 30 Years For Murder

A judge yesterday ordered that two men serve 30-year sentences for their part in the murder of a Deveaux Street man more than three years ago.

The prosecution did not seek the death penalty for Andre Dieujuste, 29, and Edney Burrows, 27,  after   the jury returned guilty verdicts against them on September 21.

Christina Galanos made mitigation pleas on behalf of both men, who spent three years in custody awaiting trial, at a sentencing hearing before Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs yesterday.

According to the evidence, Jason Smith, the victim, was intoxicated when he started a fight because he did not want the men parked in front of his home on Deveaux Street on September 13, 2008.

Galanos said Smith’s death was not premeditated.

Addressing the court on behalf of Burrows, who was also convicted of the attempted murder of Smith’s girlfriend, Tamara Smith, Galanos said the deceased approached Burrows “in a hostile and aggressive manner before the fight ensued”.

She noted that none of Burrows’ three previous convictions involved violence against anyone.  She said that Burrows surrendered to police following the incident.

On the attempted murder charge, she asked the court to consider that Ms. Smith provoked Burrows when she threw a bottle at him, which shattered across his face.  She said Burrows believed that he was defending himself against attacks by the Smiths.

She said Burrows surrendered to police before he sought medical attention for his own injuries.

As for Dieujuste, Galanos said he had an unblemished criminal record until the jury’s verdict.

She said on the evidence, Dieujuste chopped Smith once with a cutlass. She said Dieujuste had attempted to convince Smith to go home and relax.

Justice Isaacs imposed a 20-year sentence on Burrows for the attempted murder of Ms. Smith that will run concurrently with the 30-year sentence on the murder charge

Galanos said she plans appeals against both the sentences and the convictions.

Jillian Williams prosecuted.