Mon | Nov 29, 2021

Man gets two life terms for murder of elderly couple in St Thomas

Published:Thursday | October 21, 2021 | 4:54 PM
Skervin, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in July, will be eligible for parole after serving 32 years and four months.

Farmer Fabian Skervin has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison for killing an elderly Jamaican-Canadian couple in Retreat, St Thomas.

In handing down her decision today in the Home Circuit Court, Justice Lorna Shelly Williams ruled that the sentences are to run concurrently.

Skervin, who had pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in July, will be eligible for parole after serving 32 years and four months.

Melbourne Flake, 81, and his wife Etta, 70, were found dead at their dream vacation home in Retreat, St Thomas on January 9, 2018.

The husband had wounds to his head while the wife was reportedly suffocated.

Both were found with their hands and feet bound.

Skervin's attorney Anthony Williams, in a plea mitigation submission, said his client is deeply remorseful and did not act of his own will, but was under demonic forces.

He added that his client had revealed during the social enquiry report that his intent was only to rob the couple but he was overtaken by demons.

Williams said Skervin wants the family to know that he is deeply sorry and that he understands their pain and loss and hopes that they will one day forgive him.

The attorney, while pointing out that Skervin had a history of good behaviour, asked the judge to also consider his age, that the act was not premeditated, and that he has the capacity to be rehabilitated.

He also reiterated that Skervin had told the police in his caution statement that he was under a mental delusion and had heard two voices, one telling him to kill and the other not to kill.   

The court heard that the husband and wife were killed at their home and that their ATM cards were stolen and used to make various purchases including a wedding ring.

The court also heard that Skervin sneaked into the couple's house with a piece of board and hid in their closet for hours waiting on them to return home.

He tied them up and beat the husband into disclosing his ATM card pin.

The couple was in the island visiting and had employed Skervin's girlfriend Nikia Thompson and others to do construction work on their home.

The couple, who were Jamaicans, had lived in Canada for 50 years.

Meanwhile, Thompson, who is jointly charged with Skervin, had her bail extended to tomorrow, at which time the court will decide on her case.

- Tanesha Mundle

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