A 48-year-old manslayer was today given a starting sentence of 18 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Kari Nolan Cumberbatch six years ago.
Dave Henderson Powers, of No. 9 Clinketts Garden, St Lucy and Eden Lodge, St Michael was originally charged with murdering 33-year-old Cumberbatch in the car park of CinCin By the Sea Restaurant in Prospect, St James on Wednesday January 16, 2013. However, he had pleaded not guilty to the capital offence, but guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and attempted murder. However Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Anthony Blackman, who was the prosecutor in the case, formally withdrew a kidnapping charge against Powers in the No. 2 Supreme Court today.
The incident occurred around 10 a.m. on the aforementioned date when the deceased, who was driving, arrived with Powers’ wife at the upscaled restaurant where they both worked. Powers and his wife were separated.
The facts showed that Powers approached them armed with a gun and confronted the deceased who was sitting in the car and shot him in the head. He then went into the car and pointed the gun at his wife’s head and pulled the trigger but it did not discharge.
In sentencing Justice Randall Worrell noted that Powers had indicated that the criminal act was not something that he had planned to do but “there must have been some planning involved for you to go there with a firearm and ammunition – there had to be some planning and pre meditation – you were armed, [there is] nothing in this case about self defence . . . I cannot accept that it was a spontaneous act by you.
“A person has lost their life. That life cannot be brought back. A person’s life is finished at your hands . . . forever lost,” the judge stated.
Worrell went on to explain that while Powers had surrendered himself, he could find no mitigating factors when it came to the offence.
“You should not have been there no matter how bad things were . . . . I can’t find anything mitigatory in the case of the offence. [You went] there . . . taking out a loaded weapon, a firearm . . . . It was quite clear you were unlawfully in possession of that firearm and the use of the firearm is also aggravating,” the judge added.
Making reference to guideline cases Justice Worrell settled on a starting point of 18 years in prison but adjusted the sentence upwards by four years given that Powers used a dangerous weapon and “you were armed with it in advance
. . . showing planning and premeditation”.
With a sentence of 22 years the judge then took into account that the convicted man had no previous convictions and according to character witnesses was an industrious and law-abiding young man before the incident. He was also contrite and admitted that it was an egregious act.
His guilty plea was also considered but Worrell made it clear that Powers could not get the full one-third credit.
“Although you pleaded guilty, persons were there and saw what you did . . . this was in broad daylight . . . what else could you have done but plead guilty,” the judge stated.
With all those factors taken into consideration, Powers was left with a 14-year sentence. However, Justice Worrell also took into consideration the six years and one month already spent on remand leaving the convicted man with seven years and 11 months to serve on the charge of manslaughter.
On the other charges of attempted murder Powers who was represented by attorney-at-law Angella Mitchell-Gittens was given a ten-year sentence and possession of a firearm seven years on each. However those sentences will run concurrently since the offences stemmed from the same incident.