Akeem Roberts, charged with the murder of a St. George’s Community High School student in 2012, yesterday pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter in the High Court.
Roberts, 19, was due to be tried for fatally stabbing Shane George, 16, of 143 Roxanne Burnham Gardens on May 16, 2012, at Morgan’s Learning Centre in Campbellville, where they were attending lessons, following an argument over clothes.
Justice Navindra Singh, who presided over the case, told Roberts that by pleading guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter he was giving up his rights to be tried in the presence of a jury. Roberts said that he understood this.
State attorney Dionne Mc Cammon said on May 16, 2012, a fight broke out between the two high school students but they were separated and the accused was taken away from George. Roberts, she said, managed to get himself out of the grasp of a teacher, got a knife and ran back to the deceased. He started ‘firing jooks’ at George, who at that time was unarmed, Mc Cammon said. She added that George tried to take the knife away but he fell to the ground and then Roberts jumped onto him and stabbed him further.
However, Roberts’ lawyer Mark Waldron asked that a probation report be conducted in favour of the accused prior to sentencing, in light of the facts presented and Roberts’ plea. Singh then ordered that a probation reported be prepared.
According to reports from the teens’ classmates, George would constantly taunt Roberts about his clothing. A teacher who witnessed the attack said that Roberts was being taunted as he walked into the learning centre compound. The teacher had said that he saw Roberts walk into the yard and collected a long knife and then start “firing stabs like he head ain’t good.”
Roberts is scheduled to be sentenced on March 20.