The man who was freed of a murder charge but convicted of a related firearm offence has “a penchant” for reading romance novels and has a few in prison.
Lawyer Duane Daniel told the High Court, on Thursday, that his client, Devon “Chiefman” Charles, 38, said he loves reading adventure novels and mysteries and has a penchant for Mills & Boon in particular and has a few copies in prison.
He was at the time mitigating on Charles’ behalf ahead of his sentencing.
On Oct. 3, a jury found Charles not guilty of the charge that on Aug. 2, 2020, at Block 2000, Old Montrose, he murdered Kimron Hannaway, 28, aka “Warlord” and “Dog Man”.
The jury, however, found him guilty of a charge that Charles had a firearm in his possession with intent to commit an offence, to wit murder.
Regarding Charles’ personal circumstances, Daniel told the court he is a non-practicing Christian who left school in the second term of Form 5 because of a difference between his parents.
Around age 20, he started his own business selling clothing sent to him by his mother, who migrated when he was 13 years old, resulting in Charles moving to live with his father.
The lawyer said Charles had an online business selling clothing, foodstuff, toiletries, and stationery as well as a skin care product business which had its own social media page.
He said there was a lot of support for the page and he was hoping to have someone continue it when he was incarcerated.
The lawyer said Charles was also known for rearing and selling pit bull dogs and before the incident was in the process of applying for a loan to start a vehicle rental business.
He played football and cricket for his school but no longer played at the time of the offence but remained a fan of those sports as well as basketball.
The lawyer said that Charles has no children and, before the offence, was engaged and had a wedding date for December 2020 but his fiancée has since moved on.
He said Charles listed among his dependents his younger paternal brothers who he supported by paying their school tuition and the children of the eye witness, Paula Straker.
The lawyer said Charles said he gave financial support to Renisha Ashton, Straker’s daughter, when she dropped out of school due to a pregnancy.
He paid for her to go back and was influential in paying for her to go to Community College, but she also dropped out of that because of a second pregnancy, the lawyer said.
Charles was supporting Straker’s son with the necessary for school, the lawyer said.
“In short, to say that the sentencing guidelines in my humble opinion are to apply to this matter given the opercular facts and the verdict, in my humble and respectful opinion that they do not,” Daniel said.
“And to say a man should pay a heavy penalty and a price for a man who on indictment entered a plea of not guilty where he was no convicted of murder, the circumstances clearly show that the mitigating circumstance that the weapon was used in defence of self, that that mitigating circumstance is powerful,” he further stated.
Charles was sentenced to 17 years and nine months in prison.