Thirty-nine year-old Roy Lewis of Glasgow Housing Scheme who was on trial in the Berbice High Court for Murder, but had earlier pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter, was yesterday sentenced to 26 years in jail by Justice Franklyn Holder. This was after a probation report was presented by Senior Probation and Social Services officer, Egla October.
Lewis was on trial for brutally murdering his 18-year-old foster nephew Devon Da Silva called Devon Lewis of Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, on December 27, 2012, at Sisters Village.
Da Silva was stabbed to death while in bed with his girlfriend Ashley Whyte called ‘Toya’ at her parents’ home.
The youth, who was reportedly forced into a longstanding intimate relationship since he was 14 by Lewis, was reportedly asleep beside his girlfriend when Lewis entered the house and stabbed him several times about his body. The Post Mortem report stated that the deceased was stabbed nine times – four times to the neck. His girlfriend was also injured.
The teen managed to jump through a window, but died before receiving medical attention.
The accused had lived at several places and did various jobs including at Bermine, Caricom Cement Limited, at sea as a carpenter, and even drove taxi. His last job as a taxi driver ended after he was charged with dangerous driving. He took a loan from a bank and built a house, but the house was repossessed due to lack of payment.
Devon Da Silva, who was the second of five children for his mother, was described as quiet, pleasant, willing and hardworking.
According to the report, Devon’s stepfather Carlos Lewis and his mother Roxanne came together when he was a toddler whilst she was living in the interior. The union bore three children. His name was subsequently changed to Lewis.
The accused first forced the teen into having anal sex with him. He had seduced, forced, threatened and showered him with lavish gifts. Lewis was eventually thrown out of the house after he was caught choking Da Silva. Da Silva was forced to move from place to place. However, the accused would follow and accept the youth as his companion.
Da Silva relocated to his aunt’s residence at Canal No 2 Polder, but returned after a time since he had to attend school.
Da Silva, despite being stalked, stopped accepting gifts and sought employment at the cement packaging plant. The accused, who was a seaman at the time, stopped working at sea, and also sought employment at the same entity. He started to puncture the teen’s bicycle wheel and reportedly attempted to feed him food laced with poison and threw suspicious liquids in his drink. This was told to the probation and social welfare department in a complaint lodged in 2012.
Da Silva subsequently sought employment in the interior at Kamaka Mines, Demerara and was away for over two and a half months. He had travelled home a few days before to be with relatives and his girlfriend for the Christmas season when he was mercilessly murdered.
In a plea of mitigation, State-appointed attorney Sasha Roberts of the Legal Aid Clinic stated that the accused was at the mercy of the court. “He has chosen not to waste the court’s time. The incident was most unfortunate, a young life was lost and the accused has accepted that he did wrong. We may never understand the reason for the accused’s act,” she said. She asked that justice be served for both the deceased and accused.
Roy Lewis, when asked to speak said “I am very sorry for what has occurred. The deceased was my relative. We were living good prior to the incident. I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathy to the parents, brothers and sisters of the deceased and I seek forgiveness. I am sorry and I throw myself at the mercies of the court.
Justice Holder told the accused that he had pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and that he (the judge) had a sentence of 25 years in mind.
“…But the crime you committed was heinous and dastardly. You have snuffed out the life of a young man in his prime in a calculated and barbaric manner. Your actions were that you premeditated to kill… looking at the viciousness of the attack. You intruded the privacy and the home of the victim whilst he was in bed. You hounded and terrified the young man since he was a minor.”
The judge added 12 years to the 25 to make it 37 years. He subtracted seven years for the accused pleading guilty, three years and three months for the time spent in jail and nine months for his showing remorse.
“You will serve 26 years. NO parole before 22 years,” Justice Holder told the stunned convict.
The man and his family burst into loud wailing in court. While the crying relatives were asked to leave, the accused continued to plead with the judge for a lighter sentence. However he was ordered removed from the courtroom.
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