Categorized | National News

Gardiner May Face Life In Prison- Cop Charged For Key’s Death Awaits Sentence

Convicted former Police Corporal Donovan Gardiner was back in court yesterday as Justice Vera Watkins heard submissions regarding his sentencing.

Gardiner, 39, was convicted of manslaughter in March for the 2008 death of Desmond Key.

It was found that Gardiner beat Key with a baseball bat while Key was in custody at the Grove Police Station in 2007.

Key died from those injuries seven months later.

Gardiner’s attorney Wayne Munroe asked that his client be imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years since Justice Watkins never distinguished whether jurors were returning a verdict of manslaughter or manslaughter by negligence.

Under the current statute, Mr. Munroe maintained that the law dictates a five-year prison term was the applicable punishment.

Mr. Munroe also told the court that his client, a husband and father of two, had a 22-year- unblemished record as an officer of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF).

He asked the court to consider the adverse effect impact a lengthy prison sentence would have on Gardiner’s family.

However, Crown Prosecutor Linda Evans countered that while the statute states that a person found guilty of manslaughter by negligence will be sentenced to a minimum of five years, Gardiner was never tried on a charge of manslaughter by negligence; therefore, she argued that a five-year prison sentence is not applicable.

“The law says that any person found guilty of manslaughter by negligence shall be sentenced to five years in prison and any person otherwise found guilty of manslaughter shall be sentenced to life in prison,” Ms. Evans read.

After hearing counsels’ submissions, Justice Watkins adjourned the proceedings until Friday, June 29, when she is expected to hand down a sentence.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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