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Posted: Saturday 12 October, 2019 at 5:02 PM

Two found guilty in Leanna Napoleon’s murder trial

By: Stanford Conway,

    Third man already sentenced


    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – TWO young men, Brandon Lee Wells of Buckley’s Estate and Travien Liddie of St. Johnston Village, were yesterday (Oct. 11) found guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Leanna Napoleon.

    Napoleon’s brother, Wells, was charged with her murder on Saturday, June 17, 2017; and two days later, his friend, 20-year-old Liddie, was similarly charged. 

    According to a police communiqué, yesterday the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts for the offences of Murder and Attempting to Pervert the Natural Course of Justice for the 21-year-old Wells. 

    Also on that day, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict for 20-year-old Liddie for the offence of Attempting to Pervert the Natural Course of Justice and an 11-1 guilty verdict for the offence of Murder. 

    The Director of Public Prosecutions had made an application to the Court for the death penalty for the two convicted men.

    The judge however ordered a Social Inquiry Report and Psychiatric Report be completed in preparation for sentencing of the men. 

    Both of them have since been remanded to Her Majesty's Prison.

    Meanwhile, 27-year-old Ivan Phillip of La Guerite, for whom an arrest warrant was issued in relation to Napoleon’s death but had turned himself in to the police, had pleaded guilty to the offence of being an Accessory After the Fact to Murder on June 24, 2019.

    On September 24, 2019, he was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison commencing from that day.

    Napoleon was a fifth form student of Basseterre High School student and was residing with her adopted mother in Keys Village following the death of her biological mother in 2015.

    The 17-year-old was reported missing after she had written her CSEC EDPM exam at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College on Monday, May 8, 2017.

    She was reportedly last seen on Fort Street, Basseterre in the afternoon of the day in question. 

    Since then, members of the Police Force, Defence Force, family members, friends and public-spirited citizens had conducted extensive searches in the Buckley’s, Keys and other areas for the missing girl without success.

    However, on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, police had discovered her body in a shallow grave in the Olivees Mountan area.

    Following the two men’s conviction and the sentencing of Phillip, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Andre Mitchell commended the collaborative work between the Office of the DPP and the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, specifically the Crime Directorate, in advancing the case and ultimately leading to its successful conclusion. 

    The ACP also commended the work of the detectives assigned to the case.

    “They went beyond the call of duty, applied their training and experience, and diligently sought to bring to justice the individuals who, by their behaviour, demonstrated no respect for the sanctity and value of human life,” the communiqué quoted him as saying.
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