Sat | Dec 9, 2023

Reputed gangsters get life for kidnapping, murder of businessman, driver

Published:Saturday | November 26, 2022 | 12:10 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter

An alleged member of the Bobo Gang, who kidnapped and murdered a businessman as well as his deliveryman in Westmoreland more than a decade ago, was yesterday sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Thirty-two-year-old Dwayne Drummond, who also got two life sentences for the murders, is said to have killed the businessman after his father requested to speak with him before paying over a $200,000 ransom.

Drummond’s crony, Jermaine James, was also sentenced to life in prison for the deliveryman’s murder and is to serve 15 years in prison before parole consideration.

Businessman Rohan Jones, 22, and his worker, Cayman Munroe, were murdered on May 9, 2011 in the violent community of Russia after being targeted.

Justice Leighton Pusey, in handing down the life sentences yesterday in the Home Circuit Court, ordered Drummond to serve 20 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole in relation to Jones’ murder and 15 years before being considered for parole for Munroe’s murder.

Drummond, who is from Pitfour in St James, was also slapped with a two-year sentence for extortion, 15 years for kidnapping, and 25 years for illegal possession of firearm.

In addition to life imprisonment, James, otherwise called ‘Bounty’, of Port Antonio in Portland, was also sentenced to two years for extortion and 15 years for kidnapping.

The sentences for both men are to run concurrently.

Both were found guilty of the charges following a jury trial in August.

Gas delivery

Prosecutors Kathy Pike and Yanique Taylor-Campbell led evidence that Jones, who operated a cooking gas company with his father, was fulfilling an order in the Russia community with his deliveryman when they were held up by James and Drummond, who demanded money.

The killers, who pretended to be customers, had a blue gas cylinder when they held up the victims with a handgun.

Munroe tried to escape by driving away the car, but was shot in the chest. The vehicle crashed into a nearby wall and he later succumbed to his injuries.

Jones was, however, kidnapped by the men, who phoned his relatives and demanded $200,000 for his safe return.

On May 10, 2011, about 10:30 a.m., the men call the businessman’s father, and he indicated that arrangements would be made to pay the money if he was allowed to speak to his son.

The kidnappers, however, refused and told him to pick up his son’s body.

A manhunt was launched and two days later, Jones’ decomposing body was found in bushes adjacent to Russia with the head bashed in and the hands bound behind his back and a cloth tied around the neck.

The men were subsequently charged, but they maintained their innocence.

Before handing down the sentence, Justice Pusey highlighted that he was constrained in terms of offering any reduction to the sentences to Drummond, who had spent 11 years in custody, and James, who had spent seven years before being granted bail.

In James’ case, the judge noted that he would have reduced his sentence as he had no previous conviction, had a good community report and appeared to have conducted himself well while he was on bail. He also noted that James was not the principal offender.

“Even though he was involved in this murder and despite the fact that this was a serious crime, I only saw mitigating factors,” the judge added.

He further pointed out that he had considered giving him a prison term instead of a life sentence, but had to impose a life term based on the law.

In Drummond’s case, he said he would have at least credited him for the years spent in custody, but the statute did not allow for that.

However, in arriving at his sentence, the judge said he took note of the fact that Drummond was convicted of a double murder, that the victim was killed after he was kidnapped, and the ransom wasn’t forthcoming, and further, that his death appeared to be because of greed.

To Drummond’s credit, Justice Pusey said he took into account that he also had no previous conviction.

Last week, during the sentencing hearing, James’ lawyer, Clive Mullings, begged for a second chance.

“Give him a second chance to prove that he is capable of becoming a productive citizen,” he submitted.

Mullings, while urging the judge not to impose the maximum sentence, asked the judge to consider that James had no previous conviction and that his antecedent had nothing to suggest that he was involved in criminal or any antisocial behaviour.

Drummond’s lawyer, Shanelle Johnson, appealed for leniency.

She asked the judge to exercise discretion and give her client the minimum pre-parole period of 20 years.