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Jamaica: “Couple gets life in prison despite petitioners’ plea for mercy”

THREE hundred and fifty signatures from residents of the Coltart Grove community in St Ann, petitioning for mercy for the Dean family, who were convicted of killing a mentally ill man 10 years ago, could not prevent two of them from being given life sentences in the Home Circuit Court yesterday.

The frail-looking couple was sentenced, along with their three sons, two of whom received 20 years while the third was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Velma Dean, her husband Joseph, and their sons Jermaine, Dwight and Richard were convicted for the murder of Stanley McLean in Coltart Grove, St Ann, on July 6, 2007.

Prosecutors led evidence that the 29-year-old man was stoned and chopped to death by the family after he stole a piece of electrical cord from their home.

Justice Carol Lawrence-Beswick, in handing down the sentence yesterday, ruled that 65-year-old Velma, who the court heard was the instigator, will be required to serve 33 years in prison before being eligible for parole, while Joseph, 69, will have to serve 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

Richard, 44, and Dwight, 38, who were both sentenced to 20 years in prison, will be eligible for parole after serving 12 years, while Jermaine, a 29-year-old security guard, will be eligible for parole after serving 10 of his 15 years.

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