Tue | Jun 18, 2019

Pottinger’s loved ones dissatisfied with killer’s 12-year sentence

Published:Saturday | May 25, 2019 | 12:10 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
From left: Siblings of fashion designer Dexter Pottinger – Danta Aarons, Ta-Shan Adams, Lakeisha Aarons – speaking with attorney-at-law Duane Thomas outside of the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston yesterday.
From left: Siblings of fashion designer Dexter Pottinger – Danta Aarons, Ta-Shan Adams, Lakeisha Aarons – speaking with attorney-at-law Duane Thomas outside of the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston yesterday.

Yesterday’s sentencing of the man who confessed to killing Dexter Pottinger has not eased the minds of the fashion designer’s relatives, who say that the killer’s account of what transpired has left many questions unanswered.

Twenty-three-year-old Romario Brown was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter, four years for larceny of a vehicle and one for simple larceny at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. Justice Lorna Shelly-Williams, who handed down the sentence, said they will run concurrently.

Pottinger’s sister, Ta-Shan Adams, in an interview with The Gleaner following the sentencing, insisted that Brown’s story does not add up.

“This young man stated that he stabbed my brother out on the balcony and my brother ran inside the house. I was the one that cleaned up the murder scene and there was no blood out there. We – collectively as a family, his friends – we still have questions about the circumstances surrounding it because he’s inconsistent.

“You said that you stole from the house, but then when you come back into court, you pleaded not guilty, you’re gonna say that you never took the television. To me, that’s signs of somebody who’s not sure. Dem not sure. Like him don’t have him story straight, and no, we are not pleased,” Adams said, making her dissatisfaction with the sentence known.

Tears flowed during yesterday’s sentencing hearing as three of Pottinger’s siblings, led by Lakeisha Aarons, delivered a victim impact statement in which they described him as a father figure.

They said that since their brother’s death, things have not been the same as they are struggling financially.

She told the court that they are on the brink of losing Pottinger’s Yarico Place, St Andrew home, where his decomposing body was found on August 31, 2017, due to the family’s inability to meet the mortgage obligations.

Describing her brother as a helpful person, she looked at Brown and added: “You took the life of someone who was trying to help you.”

Pottinger is said to have posted bail for Brown two days before he was killed, after Brown was arrested for being in possession of two knives.

NO JUSTIFICATION

Attorney-at-law Donald Bryan, in trying to account for Brown’s action, cited Jamaica’s perception as a homophobic country, but Justice Shelly-Williams questioned whether that view would justify what he did.

The attorney hastened to state that it does not justify his client’s actions, but it is something that should be taken into consideration.

Justice Shelly-Williams, when handing down the sentence, said she considered aggravating factors such as the 25 stabs sustained by Pottinger, the stealing of items from the property and that the guilty plea was not an early one.

However, she identified his eventual guilty plea, his age, the length of time in custody and his good social enquiry report as mitigating factors.

She said that she did not consider any previous convictions or other criminal cases against Brown when making her decision.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com