Attorney-at-law Desmond Sands successfully argued for a High Court judge to consider sentencing his 29-year-old client, who pleaded guilty to causing serious bodily harm to a now deceased friend, to time served.
Renaldo Ramon Howell of Knights Gap, Brittons Hill, St Michael pleaded guilty to the lesser count instead of the manslaughter charge levelled against him in the January 23, 2006 death of Ricardo Pile.
“Look favourably on this young man. He is now 29 years old [and has] no prior convictions . . . [There is] no evidence that he has been involved in any such behaviour in the past,” Sands said as he urged Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius to consider a sentence of time spent on remand.
Pile, according to prosecutor Principal Crown Counsel Elwood Watts, died from complications from a stab wound almost a year after Howell inflicted the injury on him.
“The facts as they were, suggest that there was no premeditation . . . . A fight ensued over cards . . . and [the deceased’s] injuries were such that he died just days short of a year,” Watts told Justice Cornelius in the No. 5 Supreme Court recently.
He went on to say that the doctor who conducted the post mortem revealed under cross-examination that Pile died from blood poisoning, which was secondary to the wound.
With these facts in hand, Watts said while there were no specific penalties attached to such a crime, ten years, a fine, or both could be handed down in such cases.
However, he agreed with Sands that “time spent on remand was an adequate sentence in the circumstances”, as Howell did not “set out to do anything” and there was some sort of provocation involved.
A pre-sentencing report by a probation officer into Howell’s life revealed that he regretted his actions and that he was a “medium risk offender”.
“I miss Ricardo a lot . . . . He was my friend. If I could [turn] back the hands of time . . . I would . . . to make this thing never happen. I just want another chance . . . Your Honour,” Howell said when asked whether he had anything to say.
Justice Cornelius then released Howell, who had spent 1,468 days on remand, on $1,000 bail.
He returns to the High Court on Friday for formal sentencing.