Laventille man has 8 months left to serve for 2009 Carnival Tuesday killing

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds –

A LAVENTILLE man has eight months left to serve on his sentence for the killing of an American citizen after a fete on Cipriani Boulevard during Carnival celebrations in 2009.

On Wednesday, Shawn McLean was sentenced by Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, who previously accepted a plea-bargain agreement between him and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

On October 12, McLean pleaded guilty to the lesser count of unlawful killing (manslaughter). He was before the judge charged with the murder of Leverne Lyons on February 22, 2009.

McLean would have been sentenced then but the judge cut short the hearing for the grieving family since it was held on what would have been Lyons’s 44th birthday.

At that hearing, Lyons’s father, Lester, called on the judge to show his son’s killer no mercy.

He said he wanted his son’s killer “locked away for the rest of his life.”

At the time, Ramsumair-Hinds commiserated with the grieving father but told him she was not permitted by law to entertain some of his comments as it called on her to accept or reject any part of it.

“The law has no business to put a fetter on your grief. You have a full licence to grieve.”

She also told him she could not meet his request for his son’s killer to be tried for nothing less than first-degree murder and for him to be “locked away for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole.”

“I hope you will someday you would understand I am fettered by my profession, my oath and the application of the law,” the judge told the grieving father.

She said it was her oath that allowed her, in good conscience, to consider if she should accept the terms of the plea deal. Ramsumair-Hinds reiterated her commitment to doing right for all stakeholders in the criminal justice system.

“There is no way I can give you anything that will satisfy you. I do have to do right by my oath.”

She also said there was nothing to suggest that the agreement for the plea would cause the administration of justice to suffer disrepute.

On Wednesday, Ramsumair-Hinds sentenced McLean to 23 years from which he received a one-year downward adjustment based on his previous good character, his participation in reformative activities in prison, his remorse and letters of recommendation presented to the court.

McLean also received a one-third discount for his guilty plea and the 14 years and eight months he has spent on remand were also discounted, leaving him with eight months left to serve.

He was represented by attorneys Larry Williams and Toni Roberts while the State was represented by prosecutors Indira Chinebas and Solange Devenish.