Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 or Email ALL news to:newsvino@outlook.com; ads call 1-284-440-6666

High Court rules Martin, Weekes eligible for parole

- Time already served to be taken into account
Jerry Martin will be 51 years of age when he becomes eligible for parole. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- High Court Judge Rita Olivetti has ruled that convicted murderers Lynn Mervin Weekes and Jerry Martin, who are still serving life sentences, are capable of being rehabilitated and eligible for parole.

Both men appeared before her yesterday April 3, 2012.

Weekes was convicted of murdering his girlfriend Zabrina O'Neal on Virgin Gorda. O’Neal was reportedly stabbed to death in her home in February 1999 and Weekes, who was born in St. Lucia but grew up in the Virgin Islands, had claimed provocation in that his girlfriend had cursed him and his mother. He was convicted in 2000.

Judge Olivetti in concluding Weekes’ eligibility for parole said he had displayed exemplary conduct in prison and was not considered to be a danger to the public, noting that Weekes was even allowed to come out of prison to spend Christmas Day with his family.

She then said Weekes would be eligible for parole in 18 years and the time already spent in prison must also be taken into account, which means that he has already served some 13 years in prison since being arrested and convicted for the murder.

Jerry Martin, who was convicted in 2007 for the shooting to death of Rolland Serrano in 2005, is eligible for parole after 25 years with the time already served to be taken into account as well.

Judge Olivetti noted, however, that Serrano’s family had not yet forgiven him and also that the Social Inquiry Report showed that he had early problems controlling his temper. She added that Martin, who was 26 at the time the offence was committed, is not a person who should be shut away for life and could be rehabilitated but recommended counselling for substance abuse and emotional problems.

Serrano, a business man operating the Puerto Rico Lottery in the Virgin Islands, was shot outside of his apartment building at Sea Cows Bay on the morning of September 15, 2005, during a robbery. He was on his way to the airport. Serrano died from his gunshot wound on October 10, 2005.

Prior to his death as a result of pulmonary embolism – a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream embolism – Serrano was paralysed.

In his submission to the Court, Martin’s lawyer Patrick Thompson pointed out that from the Social Inquiry report, his client was a school dropout and observed that it’s a disturbing trend that most of the young men, who have flouted the law, did not finish school.

The defense lawyer also indicated that Martin had a substance abuse problem. Thompson informed the court that Martin is remorseful for what happened on that fateful morning on September 15, 2005 and that his client intends to pursue his studies in prison.

Meanwhile, Principal Crown Counsel, Tiffany Scatliffe, had revealed to the court that Martin has a previous conviction and is serving an additional 18 years for attempted murder. According to her, that shows he has a propensity to kill and recommended that he serves those years in full before even being considered for parole.

Scatliffe also told the court that a letter from the Serrano’s family has indicated that they have not forgiven Martin for his death.

The passing of the new Parole Act in March 2009 means that a Judge, upon sentencing a person to imprisonment for life, shall state whether such person may be eligible to be considered for parole and, if a person is found to be so eligible, state a minimum period of imprisonment that such person shall serve before being considered for parole for the first time.

8 Responses to “High Court rules Martin, Weekes eligible for parole ”

  • school bell (04/04/2012, 12:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    tis ah disrespt to the family and memries of Roland
  • family (04/04/2012, 12:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is just wrong and Roland can never come back!
  • SKA (04/04/2012, 14:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't worry folks being 'eligible' for parole, does not equate to being 'granted' parole. I can understand the judges' decision as far as Mr. Weeks is concerned, he could very well be rehabilitated, but Mr. Martin has proven over and over again, that he's nothing but a 'DIRTY STAIN, ON THE FABRIC OF OUR SOCIETY'. The thing that really grinds my gears is that Rolland gave him the money he came to steal, and he still shot him... PUNK. Let him rot in and under the prison.
    • we thank you ska (04/04/2012, 17:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      thanks for the explanation as i was wondering if all deeds people will be on we street for August...look trouble for we
  • billy b (04/04/2012, 15:36) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    the dead girl didn't get to spend christmas with her family. You see this is why a lot of these so called thugs don't go to the states because only in Tortola, a life sentence is one decade. In america, life is life. In the history of tortola justice system, no one sentenced to life has ever served life. No one has ever died in prison. This is why we don't respect the justice system, simply because ever inch of it is just a slap on the wrist.
  • Serrano's Sister and family (05/04/2012, 20:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    First may I say thank you to the public for all your support. We know that we are not alone. Thank you to all that help us through these tough times. We have been under extreme stress with the re-Sentence of Jerry Martin. How the Honorable Justice can conclude that Jerry Martin can be rehabilitated is beyond understanding. There was a man in New York who was just sentence to 50 years for murder. How Jerry Martin can serve his time concurrently is amazing. It seems that politics may be a factor. The fact that convicted killers can go home and spend Christmas with their families is shocking. Only in Tortola this can happen. If the BVI don't get serious the Islands will be ruin. The Virgin Islands is a small beautiful place why would the citizens allow convicted murderers roam the street. Citizens of the Virgin Islands need to demand from their legislature the parole act be revised then make a provision for the new act to be retro active so that the decision of Weeks and Martin can be over turned.
  • Nini (29/07/2015, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    do not let him out no parole


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.

Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.