Four armed robbers have been sentenced to various prison terms of 15years and 24 years respectively for murdering victim Musa Kamara during an armed robbery operation executed in Clara Town on 26 March2013 on Bushrod Island.
Assigned Criminal Court “B” Judge S. Geevon Smith on Monday, 24 April ruled at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia that the act of defendants Alfred Sayplay, Anthony Sopah, Jerry Pauh and Tommy Nimely “is a gross in difference to the life of Musa Kamara …”
But prosecutors appear to be unhappy with the 24 years and 15 years sentences given the convicts by Judge Smith, announcing an appeal against the sentence. Government lawyers appear to be seeking life time imprisonment for the convicts.
Judge Smith says defendant Say play is sentenced to 24 years “high imprisonment” at the National Palace of Corrections in Grand Gedeh County, southeast Liberia, while the rest of the convicts get 15 years imprisonment each.
“This sentence is retroactive as of the date of the arrest of these defendants”, Judge Smith says and then instructs the Clerk to make an entry of the final judgment and sentence and communicate it with the Executive Branch.
The judge’s ruling on Monday confirmed an earlier jury verdict that found the defendants guilty of the crime of murder. Judge Smith says defendants Saplay, Nimely, Pauh and Sopah pleaded guilty to the crimes charged and confessed judgment when the case was called on 14 March at the Criminal Court “A” this year.
While admitting to the commission of the crimes, the convicts exonerated three other suspects including Robert Nagbe, Emmanuel Davis and Christopher Tugbeh. A jury panel in the case subsequently handed a unanimous verdict that acquitted the three suspects while the actual doers remained on trial.
Judge Smith says the evidence is clear that defendants Robert Nagbe, Emmanuel Davis and Christopher Tugbeh never participated in the March26, 2013 armed robbery operation in which victim “Musa Kamara was shot by Alfred Say pay”.
Prosecutors produced three witnesses in the trial of the case, after the Court set aside the guilty plea of the four defendants that remained on trial and ordered a joint trial for all the accused including the three that were later acquitted.
Two police officers and a neighbor of victim Kamara were prosecution’s witnesses. Though the convicts had admitted to the crimes, they however chose to testify in the case after prosecution rested with the production of witnesses.
The convicts gave account on how they assembled and planned to go to Clara Town for the armed robbery mission. They say their armed robbery mission was not successful due to a watch team operation in the community at the time.
By Winston W. Parley