Cocoa Piece murderer to know fate on October 20

September 22, 2022

Cocoa Piece killer Rushane Barnett is to know his fate on October 20, when a judge will impose a sentence.

This afternoon, presiding judge Justice Leighton Pusey told the Home Circuit Court that he wants time to consider the sentence.

Barnett, who pleaded guilty to five counts of murder, was further remanded.

Earlier today, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn disclosed that the death penalty is off the table.

"The Crown is obliged to remove the death penalty as an option,” Llewellyn explained.
During Barnett's first court appearance, the DPP's office had served notice that it would seek the death penalty.

"This is a matter of law. Everyone who pleads guilty is entitled to some amount of credit," she added.
She suggested that Pusey goes outside the normal sentence range of 15 years to life in prison.
Llewellyn recommended that as a starting point Barnett should be sentenced to life in prison for each count of murder and not be eligible for parole until after serving 60 years and nine months.

However, Barnett’s lawyer Tamika Harris asks the judge to give him a 33 1/3 per cent discount on the sentence.

"He has saved the court's time and resources," she said.

"By pleading guilty he is showing that he is remorseful," said Harris.

He was convicted in July of five counts of murder in relation to the killing of his cousins Kemesha Wright, Kimanda Smith, 15, Sharalee Smith, 12, Rafaella Smith, 5, and 23-month-old Kishawn Henry Jr.

The victims were discovered inside their Cocoa Piece home in Clarendon with chop wounds and their throats slashed on June 21.

Barnett, who had been staying at the house, fled the area to Wilson Run in Trelawny but was later apprehended in the parish.

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