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Mother of murder victim ‘happy’ with challenge to killers’ sentences

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Maudlyn James, the mother of murder victim Shayne James, said she is cautiously happy that the prosecution has filed a notice to appeal the “lenient” sentences against two of the three men who took her son’s life four years ago.

She said she knows that it will take some time before the appeal is heard, but at least the first step has been taken, so she will continue to be patient and prayerful. She is hoping that the killers, Dane Hart and Lenroy Black, will get sentences higher than the six years they got after they pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Last week, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the sentences, saying that High Court Justice Stanley John erred by giving such a lenient sentence even in the face of all the circumstances surrounding the killing.

At the time of the appeal being filed, Ryan Samuels – the third man involved in the vicious attack – had not yet been sentenced. Samuels, who pleaded guilty to murder, later got a 26-year sentence, to be reviewed after he has served 20 years. The victim’s mother said the 26 years Samuels got is within the range of what she expected.

The woman added that although Samuels alone stabbed her son, Hart and Black were equally culpable because they knocked her son down with stones and a stick to provide Samuels the opportunity to continue stabbing him.

Shayne James was stabbed multiple times in front of his mother on the Seaview Farm main road in May 2015. He bled to death. His mother said the attackers paid her no mind even as she screamed and a few other residents were in the area, all in broad daylight

She said even though blood was pouring from her son’s body and he was unarmed and running for his life, the armed men did not relent in their unprovoked attack.

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