Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
THE PROSECUTION is seeking the death penalty for 24-year-old police Constable Rushon Hamilton who was yesterday found guilty of the murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Jhaneel Goulbourne.
Justice Lloyd Hibbert who presided over the trial has set December 17 as the sentencing date.
The prosecution, which successfully led evidence that on October 24, 2008, the girl was abducted from her gate at Harbour View, St Andrew, then murdered by Hamilton, is seeking the death penalty because she was the witness in a criminal case against him.
A few weeks before she was abducted, Goulbourne had reported to the police that Hamilton had sexually assaulted her and he was charged with carnal abuse.
Yesterday, Goulbourne's relatives wept openly after the 12-member jury returned the guilty verdict.
Two of the Goulbourne's sisters said they were satisfied with the verdict but said they found it heartbreaking that their little sister was no longer with them.
Plans for appeal
But defence lawyer Peter Champagnie has served notice his client would appeal.
"We respect the judicial process but we are disappointed with the verdict and will be appealing the matter," Champagnie said.
He and attorney-at-law Valerie Neita-Robertson represented Hamilton.
The jury retired for three hours before returning the unanimous verdict at the end of the four-week trial in the Home Circuit Court.
"I am quite pleased and relieved that justice was done in this case," Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Lisa Palmer Hamilton remarked at the end of the case.