Although they have been separated from their loved ones for several years, Justice Navindra Singh urged the teenagers who confessed to killing 75-year-old retired Professor Pairadeau ‘Perry’ Mars, to use this time to pursue their education. Nikisha Dover, 19, the mastermind behind the killing, and her two co-accused, Naomi Adams, 18, and Orin McRae, 19, were yesterday sentenced to 12, 10 and 12 years’ imprisonment, respectively, for the crime they committed on May 12, 2016.
In an emotion-filled courtroom, the wife of Professor Mars sat and listened to the teenagers who begged the court for mercy as tears tumbled from their eyes. All three spoke about how they plan to change their lives, and to move on as productive citizens in society. Lawyer Mark Conway appeared for Adams, while Dover and McRae were represented by lawyers Mohamed Ali and Adrian Thompson respectively.
The confessed killers pleaded with the dead man’s family for forgiveness. Dover, who was 17 years at the time of the killing, told the court, “I am sorry for everything. I understand my actions were wrong, and I am asking everyone for forgiveness.” She added that she just wants to get a job and pursue her lifelong dream of being in the child care profession.
For his part, Ali pointed out that his client has been attending classes in anger management, embroidery and knitting while in prison. A probation report found that Dover ran away from her mother’s home at 17, and became involved in a common-law relationship. Added to that, the probation report revealed that Dover was one of Mars’ neighbours.
When questioned by Justice Singh as to who put the bag over the man’s (Mars) head, Dover responded, “I can’t say.” However, State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy noted that it is believed that McRae was the one who placed the plastic bag over Mars’ head. Thompson sought to cast blame on Sophia, the community where his client grew up, for him being involved in crime. The lawyer stated that his client was not fortunate to have a proper upbringing.
According to Thompson, while Dover has made some bad choices in life mainly due to peer pressure and was known for getting into fights, he has since changed due to the training he has been receiving in prison. In his address to the court, Dover expressed, “I am sorry.” Asked by Justice Singh what he intended to do when he is released from incarceration, Dover said, “I want to get a job.”
During a plea in mitigation, Conway highlighted that Adams’ mother died when she was just 10. And as a result she was supported by her grandmother. A tearful Adams told the court, “I did not contribute to the death of Mr. Mars. I am also seeking forgiveness. I know it is hard to lose a loved one.”
Justice Singh, however, said that he did believe that she had no clue as to what was about to happen.
Nevertheless, the teens, who are all school drop-outs, promised that they will pursue CXC classes being offered by the prison.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Singh noted, “This is a very sad case. I have three persons in front of me who are all children. It is disturbing to me how they got into this situation”. Justice Singh pointed out that while he was cognizant that they were all teens when the crime was committed, he underscored, “children have to be punished.”
Prosecutor Hardy submitted that the killing was “senseless” and uncalled for. It was her view that they killed a defenseless man. The prosecutor held firm that there is no excuse for such a killing. Because of their actions, she said a family has lost a great father and husband. According to her, it was Mars’ plan to live comfortably during his retirement. As such, Prosecutor Hardy urged the court to impose a sentence that is duly fitting.
For his part, Justice Singh imposed the respective sentences, and made an order that the prison authority is to deduct whatever time the youths spent in pre-trial custody. Before they left the courtroom, the judge told them to use the time in jail to uplift themselves.
According to reports, Mars’ home was robbed by the trio and Adams was found in possession of his cell phone at the time of her arrest. Mars, a remigrant from the United States of America, was found slumped in a chair in the study room of his home. His hands and feet were bound together with duct-tape, while duct-tape was also wrapped around his mouth. Professor Mars taught History at the University of Guyana. He had specialized in African Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Apart from Hardy, the other prosecutors in the case were Teriq Mohamed and Sarah Martin.
Pic saved in Wednesday as: Mcrae
Caption: Orin McRae
Pic saved as: dover
Caption: Nikisha Dover
Pic saved as: adams
Caption: Naomi Adams
Pic saved as: mars
Caption: Pairadeau ‘Perry’ Mars
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