2 plead guilty to ‘senseless, cruel, tragic’ murder of man, 81, at Xmas 2010

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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PENSIONER Syranus Walker befriended the two men who would rob him, tie him up and burn his body at his Carlsen Field home two days before Christmas Day in 2010.

“It was a senseless, cruel, and tragic killing of an 81-year-old man at his home on December 23, 2010, by the two offenders who were there to paint his home during the Christmas holiday season.

“He gave them clothes, food, and drinks and they killed him,” Justice Geoffrey Henderson said on Friday as he sentenced the two, Aaron Ramay and Aaron Subero, for Walker’s murder.

Ramay was sentenced to 20 years of hard labour. The past 11 years, three months, and 23 days were discounted, leaving him with approximately nine years left to serve while Subero was sentenced to 19 years and four months, leaving him with almost eight years left to serve.

Ramay and Subero pleaded guilty to Walker’s murder in March after holding plea discussions with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. It was agreed the men would plead guilty to felony murder and Henderson said it did not warrant the death penalty.

However, he admitted it was a difficult case because of the facts.

The men stabbed Walker in the neck and robbed him of a flat-screen television, a stereo set and several electronic tools. They set his house on fire to conceal the crime.

His blood sprayed from his neck, covering his bedroom, where he was tied up while the men were demanding his bank account details.

Ramay told police he asked Walker for forgiveness, because the killing was not supposed to happen although in their separate statements the two men pinned the killing on each other.

At their trial, the two again expressed remorse.

Henderson said the court was heartened by this, since his role as sentencing judge was to sentence the offenders and not the crime, but he had to reflect on their senseless and cruel act. He told both men having difficult childhoods was no excuse for what they did.

Ramay’s mother died because of her drug addiction when he was young, causing him to drop out of school at 13. He began exhibiting deviant behaviour at 17.

Subero’s mother also died when he was young and he dropped out of school at the form-three level. His father did not support him financially and he was abused by his stepmother.

Henderson told the two, “You have to consider you have done something terrible.”

He said ultimately the two will return to society and told them he expected their contribution to be telling people their story and what it had cost them.

The judge also registered his displeasure at the time it took the case to come to trial.

“Eleven years is outrageous. We have become immune (to) the amount of time it takes for cases to come to trial…We cannot become numb to these delays. Eleven years is unforgiveable…unacceptable.”

Ramay was represented by attorneys Larry Williams and Toni Roberts. Subero was represented by public defenders Delicia Helwig-Robertson and Aleena Ramjag.

The State was represented by Ambay Ramkkellawan.