Leon Matthews was just 16 when he was arrested and charged for the murder of 14-year-old Alonzo Pierre in 2008.
On Wednesday, Matthews was sentenced to a total of 15 years’ hard labour by Justice Carla Brown-Antoine, who also recommended that the prisoner undergo anger management since his prison bio-social report showed he had a number of breaches in prison.
The judge said while Matthews was intelligent, he had a problem managing his anger and the court’s sentence was aimed at not only deterring him from acting out on his anger but others as well. Justice Brown-Antoine also recognised that Pierre would no longer be going home to his parents and the punishment of the court was also in recognition of the life taken by Matthews.
Matthews had spent almost nine years awaiting trial and that was deducted from the 15-year jail term imposed by the judge.
He was before Justice Brown-Antoine in the Second Criminal Court where he was found guilty of manslaughter.
Matthews was on a murder indictment, but the jury returned with the verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
Pierre was stabbed four times to the chest by Matthews at about 7.35 am on May 15, 2008, on St Joseph Road, Arima. Alonzo at the time was on his way to school.
The incident occurred following an altercation. Pierre, a Form Four student of Barataria Senior Comprehensive School, succumbed to his injury while being taken to the Arima District Health Facility.
At his trial, Matthew claimed he acted in self defence.
The jury rejected this defence but did find that provocation was an element in the killing.
Pierre was walking along St Joseph Road with two friends on his way to get transport to go to school. He saw a boy from another school, walked up to him and slapped him.
Pierre hit the boy because the boy had slapped his friend two weeks prior.
Matthews then pulled out a knife and stabbed Pierre in the chest. As he slumped to the ground bleeding, his friends raised an alarm and Pierre was taken by passers-by to the Arima District Health Facility but he had died by the time they arrived.