Accused pleads guilty to manslaughter, gets 16 years
AFTER facing two trials for the murder of Akbar Alli, Rondell Bacchus appeared before Justice Navindra Singh on Wednesday, pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter, and was sentenced to 16 years 8 months.
Twice before, Bacchus had entered not-guilty pleas, and at both trials the jurors were unable to arrive at a verdict.
According to reports, on July 24, 2008, Alli and his wife Rameena Hydar Alli were on Brickdam transacting ‘some business’ when they were pounced upon by two armed men and relieved of a bag containing over $2M in cash. Alli pursued the men who were on a motorcycle and was shot to the chest by the pillion rider. Alli’s wife had identified Bacchus as the shooter and testified in the previous trials.
However, Bacchus told the court on Wednesday that he is no longer going to waste the court’s time, but rather, he will take responsibility for his ill-advised actions. In addition to the guilty plea for manslaughter, he also pleaded guilty to armed robbery and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.
His attorney Nigel Hughes, told the court that his client is a changed man since he has spent years reflecting on what he had done, and is deeply regretful. Hughes therefore asked the judge to temper sentencing with leniency.
State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy reminded the court that an innocent life had been snuffed out, a woman has been left without a husband, and two children are fatherless as a result of Bacchus’s actions.
Although he was sentenced to 16 years, Bacchus will serve approximately only five years, since Justice Singh ordered that the 11 years Bacchus spent on remand be deducted from his sentence.
Justice Singh told Bacchus that he believes he can make a meaningful contribution to society, and that he should prepare himself for when he is released .