PHILIPSBURG–The Joint Court of Justice, on Tuesday, sentenced Jannie Elizabeth York (35) to 18 years for deliberately provoking the murder of her 72-year-old father Eddy R. York, on December 31, 2014. The sentence was equal to the punishment meted out by the Court of First Instance on November 2, 2016.
TheProsecutor’s Office held York for the mastermind of the murder, with her nephew Renaldo York (22) as the triggerman. Renaldo, who confessed to the crime and who did not appeal his 15-year sentence, was heard as a witness in his aunt’s appeal.
Jannie consistently said she had nothing to do with the murder and maintained her innocence.
Eddy York, Sr. was found dead in his bedroom in his Upper Prince’s Quarter home. The father of 26 children was shot while he was asleep in his bed, which he shared with his girlfriend. Jannie York was arrested nine months later, on September 16, 2015.
Charges against Jannie included aiding, abetting and being an accessory to murder and manslaughter. The case against her was primarily built on her nephew’s statements reading that she had offered him a reward and had provided him with the murder weapon.
The paterfamilias’ murder allegedly had a financial background in connection with the handing out of pieces of land to the defendant’s brother and sister. Father York was the owner of rental housing, and the suspect supposedly would have inherited everything after her father’s death.
Attorney-at-law Shaira Bommel maintained that her client had nothing to do with the killing and pleaded for a full acquittal.
The Court of Appeals did not follow the lawyer’s pleadings and admitted her nephew’s statement as evidence. The Court also found it proven that Jannie York had provided her nephew with the gun by which her father was shot, and that she had promised her nephew a US $1,000 reward.
The Court found it proven that Jannie had incited her nephew to murder. Describing the way in which the killing was planned and executed, the Court said the defendant had demonstrated a “high level of coldness and heartlessness.”
Six months before the murder, the defendant was irrevocably convicted in a Court of Law for two cases of threat, but the one-month conditional sentence did not withhold her from committing more crimes, the Court stated.
Considering her “initiating and guiding role” in the murder, the Joint Court agreed with the Solicitor General that the aunt deserved a higher sentence than her nephew, who was irrevocably sentenced to 15 years.