GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced Jannie Elizabeth York to 18 years of imprisonment this week for provoking the murder on her 72-year old father Eddie York on December 31, 2014. Her nephew Renaldo Hildario Othniel York who committed the actual murder, was sentenced to 15 years.
The 35-year old main suspect was Eddie York’s favorite daughter, but that did not stop her from pressuring her 22-year old cousin Renaldo into committing the crime. The young man received a reward of $1,000 for it. Jannie York provided him with the firearm.
It took nine months before the suspects in this case were arrested. Jannie York was apprehended in September 2015. To the judge on instruction, she denied at the time that she had put land that belonged to her father in her own name. Instead, she claimed that her father had cooperated with it: “Me and my dad went to notary Mingo. My father had 26 children and I was his favorite. I miss my dad, I wish he was here. All rumors are false.”
York also said that she had had a clash with the law before for threats “after I had been threatened by my sister.”
But York’s denials did not help her, after het cousin confessed to the murder, saying that his aunt has asked him to do it.
A crucial piece of evidence in the case is the murder weapon the woman provided to her cousin. Renaldo York took a picture of it with his cellphone. That picture shows a piece of carpet that pinpointed the place where it was taken as the home of Jannie York.
The court acquitted Jannie York of complicity to the murder but found her guilty of provoking the crime by offering a monetary reward to her cousin and by providing the murder weapon. She also put pressure on the young man who felt in the end obliged because his aunt gave him food and shelter.
The court weighed Jannie York’s denials against the statements made by her cousin and concluded that the latter’s statements were credible and consistent.
Renaldo York told investigators details only the killer could know: that his grandfather was lying in bed next to the window, that the television was on loud and that the victim cried “I’m hit” after he shot him. Technical evidence and statements from the victim’s girlfriend support this evidence.
On the night of the murder, Renaldo went to his grandfather’s house in the company of his murderous aunt. While Jannie York claimed to the court that she was at home that night, data from cell phone sites show that she was near the cell site in Middle Region – therefore in the vicinity of the crime site.
The court held it against Jannie York that she had pressured her cousin by asking him repeatedly to commit the crime. Initially, the young man refused but in the end he gave in.
“There are strong indications that business and financial motives have been the reason for the defendant to arrive at this decision,” the court states in its ruling against Jannie York. “It is hardly comprehensible that such arguments have been the reason for the suspect to order the murder of her father of whom she was the favorite daughter.”
“Not only did her father lose his life due to her behavior, she has also given cause tonher young cousin to destroy his life.
About Renaldo York, the court ruling says that he felt pressured and was of the opinion that he could not refuse the repeated request of his aunt, because she supported him and gave him shelter. He also let the prospective of a $1,000 reward guide him.
“The suspect received a firearm from his aunt, went to the house of his grandfather and shot at him through the window while the victim was sleeping in bed with his girlfriend.”
On the plus side, the court considered that Renaldo had cooperated with the investigation, that he had shown regrets and that he is a first offender. The court also considered the young man to be in a state of slightly diminished responsibility.
The court agreed with the prosecution that, given his role in the murder, his punishment ought to be lower than that for his aunt.