WITH just three more months to serve in prison for shooting a man, twice, at point-blank range for disrespecting his sister a little over 17 years ago, Dwayne Nigel Lynch was told on Tuesday by the judge who sentenced him to walk away if he is provoked again.
“You have to be the big man…You have to show you have the wisdom and maturity. You have been in prison for 17 years, and have seen now lives can be destroyed… It is not everything you have to respond to.”
Lynch was before Justice Kathy Ann Waterman Latchoo, who sentenced him to three months in prison.
Last Wednesday, Lynch, now 40, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Also known as Pagan and Pags, Lynch was charged with the murder of Richard Mark on November 22, 2003, in San Fernando.
In 2014, he went on trial for Mark’s murder, but it ended in a hung jury. He tried several times to get the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider allowing him to plead guilty to manslaughter, and the request was accepted.
As she went through the sentencing methodology used by the courts, since it doesn’t just “pluck a number out of the air,” Waterman Latchoo said the “taking of a human life cheapens life for all of society,” and Lynch's act was “chilling” and should “sicken all right-thinking members of society.”
She started with a sentence of 28 years, then deducted a year and a half for Lynch’s expression of remorse, his good behaviour while in prison and his previous good character. He also received a one-third discount for his guilty plea and the 17 years, five months and six days he has spent on remand were also deducted leaving a sentence of three months, which started on Tuesday.
He is likely to be out before that, depending on any credit afforded to him by the prison, and the judge said she hoped the penal authorities could host a symposium or seminar so that sentencing judges can see how, on their end, they implement the court’s calculations.
Lynch was liming at the Cabaret Club at La Pique Plaza, La Pique Road, San Fernando when he got into an argument between Mark and Lynch’s sister.
The argument stemmed from an incident in which Mark’s drink fell on the woman.
After Mark left the club, Lunch confronted him, accusing him of disrespecting his sister. Mark replied that he didn’t care about Lynch’s sister or him.
Lynch pulled out a gun and pointed it at Mark.
A post-mortem report said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest which caused bleeding, making it the fatal wound. He was also shot in the ankle.
Lynch walked off after shooting Mark.
He and his friends were club-hopping before they got to the Cabaret Club.
In an interview with police. Lynch said he spoke to Mark about disrespecting his sister.
“I pulled a gun and it went off twice,” he said, also telling police, “I eh shoot nobody.”
He was positively identified as the shooter by one of Mark’s friends.
Waterman Latchoo told Lynch he now had a fresh opportunity to be the man he was born to be: a law-abiding, contributing member of society.
She told him when he returned to society, there will still be rules, but fewer restrictions than in prison, but hopefully, he had matured enough over the last 17 years to walk away from a confrontation.
“There are annoying and provoking circumstances in life that offend us….when we drive…We live in a country where women cannot walk the streets in peace. Men find all kinds of humiliating and disrespectful things to say, But if we all chose to respond in a violent manner, with a weapon, the human race would have ended a long time ago,” she said.
“When you rejoin society, provoking circumstances won’t go away. That is life,” she said, also telling him there may be people who go out of their way to taunt him.
Lynch was represented by attorneys Larry Williams, who also warned his client to behave and to think of his mother, and Alima Alexis. The State was represented by prosecutor Maria Lyons-Edwards.