By Lesroy W. Williams
(Basseterre, St. Kitts)—Justice Albert Redhead exercised the full brunt of the law on July 15 when he sentenced Louis “Tooloo” Gardener, Sheldon “Hatcher” Isaac, Romeo “Buncum” Cannonier and Ruedeney “Denny” Williams to be hanged for the murder of Gavin Gilbert of Saddlers Village, St. Kitts on March 21, 2005.
Mr. Cannonier, who is on death row for the murder of Police Constable #454 Delvin Nisbett, ordered the ‘hit’ on Mr. Gilbert from behind the prison walls.
The trial of the four men began on June 4 at the Sir Lee Moore Judicial Complex and ended on June 12, when a jury took less than two hours to find the four men guilty.
Throughout the trial, Chief Prosecutor Richard Cheltenham of Barbados argued that the four men colluded to murder Mr. Gilbert in order to suppress Mr. Gilbert’s testimony in the murder case of Police Constable Nisbett. Mr. Cannonier was charged in the murder of Constable Nisbett and the prosecution argued that Mr. Gilbert had incriminating evidence against Mr. Cannonier.
The four men waited for just a little over one month from their sentencing to know their fate.
“Romeo Cannonier, you will be taken from this place to a safe place. From there you will be hanged by the neck until dead. And then, your body will be buried within the confines of the prison walls and may God have mercy on your soul,” Justice Redhead said in handing down the sentence.
The other three men were read the same pronouncement, sending a strong message that their crime was heinous, pre-meditated, well-orchestrated and worthy of nothing else but the death penalty.
Justice Redhead’s sentencing of the four men comes at a time when gun-related murders in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis are at a record high with 13 murders committed for the year.
Justice Redhead said that crime in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis had reached unacceptable levels and that life for some had become cheap.