Man, 25, to serve 17 years in jail for schoolboy’s killing

A 25-year-old man will be spending the next 17 years in jail for killing a schoolboy back in April 2017. Prior to the sentence being imposed on him Thursday, Shannon Cox pleaded with the court to show him mercy.

“I would like to say my deepest condolences go out to the deceased’s family. I would like to ask you to be lenient and merciful with me. Please let me see society again…,” he said as he implored High Court Judge Simone Morris-Ramlall to give him another chance.

Initially indicted for the April 29, 2017 murder of 16-year-old Brian Charles Yearwood of Public Road Grove, East Bank Demerara, a jury found Cox unanimously guilty of the lesser count of manslaughter in February. Sentencing for the convicted killer was, however, deferred to Thursday.

Yearwood, a former student of the Covent Garden Secondary School was stabbed in the chest while attending a concert in the Covent Garden Nursery School compound. It was reported that the stabbing stemmed from an old grievance he had with some young men.

Cox and 20-year-old Andy Peters were jointly charged with killing the teenager. Peters was however freed after Justice Morris-Ramlall upheld a no-case submission made on his behalf by his lawyer, Latchmie Rahamat.

For her part, Justice Morris-Ramlall, in her sentencing remarks, said that Yearwood’s killing was “senseless and unprovoked”.

She said it seems as though Cox went to the event “looking for trouble” since he was already armed with a knife. Noting that Cox has shown no remorse for his actions, Justice Morris-Ramlall said that the killer used most of his address to the court to talk about his plight of being incarcerated

She nevertheless said that given his youthful age, Cox appeared to be a good candidate for rehabilitation. Having considered the serious nature of the offence, factual circumstances, and aggravating and mitigating factors, the Judge sentenced Cox to 17 years in prison, less the time he has already spent in pre-trial custody.

During his trial, Cox had given an unsworn statement in which he denied killing Yearwood. In fact, a crying Cox had told the Judge: “I didn’t have no problem with no one. I don’t know the person who dead. Is when I go at the station they show me a picture of him [Yearwood] when the Police lock me up…. I cooperate with [Police] because I know me ain’t do nothing ma’am…”

He was represented by Attorney-at-Law Madan Kissoon, while Senior State Counsel Lisa Cave led the case for the prosecution.