Edissa Deon Mitchell will spend 17 years in prison for the shooting death of Colin Forde; one year less than his brother who also pleaded guilty to the crime earlier.
Twenty-year-old Mitchell, of 2nd Avenue Thomas Gap, President Kennedy Drive, St Michael pleaded guilty to shooting and killing Forde during a robbery at his business place on Baxter’s Road on May 10, 2016.
Mitchell’s brother 28-year-old Chris Avian Amal Lord pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 years.
Justice Randall Worrell revisited the details of the case before handing down the sentence.
From the outset, he said, Mitchell was cooperative and this was one of the mitigating factors the court would consider. However, on the day in question Worrell said Mitchell was the one with the firearm even if he was led astray by his older brother.
“[You] had a firearm, you were the perpetrator in a robbery which was planned- whether or not you were the mastermind, the court still has to take into consideration that although you were not the mastermind, there clearly was some kind of premeditation in relation to the robbery itself, even if there was no premeditation in the actual shooting which led to death of Forde.”
It was noted that Mitchell was armed in advance and knew the risks of having the weapon in a public place where others
could have been injured as a result of the discharge of the firearm in front of a business.
“Clearly you knew a firearm would be used although you did not seek out the firearm you were the one entrusted with it – you knew you would be taking a firearm in a public place. You did not orchestrate the details of the robbery, yet you were there to assist your brother in this illegal enterprise,” Worrell contended.
Mitchell’s lawyer suggested that the convicted man never intended or contemplated shooting Forde, the firearm was only to hold Forde at gunpoint. This was borne out by a pre- sentencing report.
“An element of fear and impulse overcame you which led you to actually discharge the firearm,” the judge continued.
The court considered both brothers’ cases, indicating that there needed to be proportionality and an aim for consistency in sentencing. Furthermore, the court also noted the need to adopt the principles of the Penal Reform Act and apply the individualized concept of sentencing.
One comparison made in both cases related to Lord’s previous convictions for robbery and possession of a firearm while Mitchell had no previous convictions.
The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Olivia Davis, suggested no uptick or downtick in the starting point of 16 years.
The Crown further suggested that the matter met the threshold for a custodial sentence because of its serious and grave nature.
“This is an offence where someone has lost their life…Mr Colin Forde cannot be brought back to his family and the
court has to take that into consideration,” Worrell said in agreement with the prosecution.
“You did not mastermind this plot or obtain the firearm, but in the same token your minor part mushroomed into a major part in that this led to Forde’s death. You were the shooter,” he continued.
The court suggested a starting point of 16 years with an uptick of two years.
“The fact that you were the shooter bears heavily against any downtick. The court is of opinion that the mere fact that you were not the mastermind cannot be fully displaced by the fact that you were the shooter,” the judge said, before stating that an uptick of one year would be given.
Mitchell will spend 17 years in prison. The sentence starts from June 10, 2016 – the date he was remanded to prison. He will therefore have another 13 years left to serve at Dodds.