Lesroy Richardson, a 45-year-old Mt. Pleasant resident who shot a female farmer of the same address in her right leg almost three years ago, will spend the next 19 years, 11 months, and 9 days behind bars.
At the High Court Criminal Assizes on Tuesday, Richardson, who resided in the United States for 23 years, was sentenced to 19 years, 11 months, and 9 days for wounding Maxcintha ‘Mama Ny’ McKie with intent; 11 years, 11 months and 9 days for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life; 2 years, 10 months and 9 days for possession of a firearm without license; and 2 years, 10 months and 9 days for possession of ammunition without license. All four charges stemmed from the same incident on September 6, 2019.
The sentences, handed down by Justice Brian Cottle, will run concurrently.
On the wounding with intent, and possession to endanger life charges, a 9-member jury had found Richardson guilty following a full trial which started on May 20 and ended May 26. Richardson, however, pleaded guilty to the charges of firearm and ammunition possession.
The Prosecution’s case was that Mckie, a farmer in her fifties, was using a dirt track that ran from her premises into Richardson’s land, in order to get to the land where she farmed. She had been using that route for 25 years, and Richardson had moved into the area about one year prior to the incident.
According to the evidence, Richardson had threatened the woman before, and on September 6, 2019 early in the day, he had put up a no trespassing sign. Later that day, Richardson saw McKie walking towards his land. He went into his yard, came back with a shot gun, confronted her, and shot her in the right leg. Richardson, who was a distance away from McKie when he shot her, then ran over to where she was, pushed her to the ground, pointed the gun to her head, and said, “This is the right off shot now”.
However, when he attempted to discharge the firearm, something apparently went wrong, and a live bullet fell out, instead of going through the muzzle.
Two neighbours, on hearing the commotion, came out, and Richardson fled.
To date, the wound McKie sustained, is not fully healed. She has difficulty moving around, and is no longer able to farm.
Richardson, who was represented by attorney Michael Wyllie, told the Court, in his defence, that he acted in self defence during which McKie was shot by accident.
According to Richardson, McKie was armed with a cutlass, and she approached him. He went for the gun to deter her, and she raised the cutlass at him, but the gun fell from him, went off and shot the woman accidentally.
On Wednesday before sentence was passed, Richardson was allowed to say something to the woman, during which he sought to offer an apology. He also asked the Court to impose a suspended sentence, in the form of community service for 100 days.
But McKie told him, “I done apologise to God for you already. I can’t take no apology right now. I cannot do anything right now because of you. I do everything for you. Look what you do to me, a bullet in my foot”.
After handing down the penalty, Justice Cottle told Richardson that had he pleaded guilty to all four charges, he would have earned a one third discount on each of them, which would have resulted in him having to spend much less time behind bars.
But Cottle added that if Richardson behaves himself in prison, it is possible that the prison authorities will give him a deduction.
Crown Counsel Kaylia Toney led the case for the Prosection. She was assisted by Crown Counsel Allana Cumberbatch.