‘Him shoulda get more sentence’
Relatives of Khamal Hall disappointed with killer’s four-year prison term
RELATIVES OF Khamal Hall, the 16-year-old William Knibb Memorial High student who was stabbed to death by a schoolmate on March 21, are dissatisfied with the killer’s prison sentence of four years and 10 months which was handed down on Monday.
The 17-year-old male defendant, whose name will not be published by The Gleaner as he is a minor, had his sentencing hearing before presiding High Court Justice Andrea Thomas in the St James Circuit Court.
His case had been transferred to St James from the Trelawny Circuit Court, where he had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter on November 7 in relation to Hall’s death.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse following the sentencing hearing, Hall’s mother, Natasha Roach, said that her family was displeased with what they consider to be a light sentence for her son’s killer.
“I believe that him shoulda get more sentence, but there is nothing I can do, as that’s what they said. It was very disappointing anyway, very disappointing,” Roach said in a brief, but emotional statement.
“The relatives are going to be vexed about it, because to take a life and then get four years is not fair, but there is nothing we can do. I am going to move on, because it has been nine months (since Hall’s death),” Roach added.
Alison Hall, aunt of the deceased schoolboy, was more reserved in her reaction to the sentence, although she noted that her brother, Khamal’s father, has struggled sporadically with illness since his son’s death.
“I just cannot explain how I feel, because my brother keeps being in and out of the hospital because of this. It has not been easy, but God is the ultimate judge of everything, so let Him do His best,” the elder Hall remarked.
The four-year term was imposed by Justice Thomas because of the defendant’s age, his previous guilty plea in the Trelawny Circuit Court, and the psychological report which had been submitted for him ahead of the sentencing hearing.
Attorney-at-law Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, who represented the defendant, declined to speak to the press concerning her client’s sentence.
The facts of the case are that on March 21, Hall – who hailed from Deeside, Trelawny, and was the goalkeeper for William Knibb Memorial High’s daCosta Cup football team – and the other boy got into a fight on the grounds of the school compound. During the brawl, a knife was used to stab Hall in the neck.
Hall was rushed to Falmouth Public Hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment.
Later reports indicated that the fight was over a guard ring, which Hall had allegedly been accused of stealing.
Guard rings are believed to offer supernatural protection from harm.