‘Hitman’ convicted of banker’s murder
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Oct 09, 2013
A jury yesterday accepted the prosecution’s theory that the murder of banker Stephen Sherman was a contract killing.
After deliberating for three hours, a Supreme Court jury convicted Janaldo Farrington of Sherman’s February 17, 2012 murder, conspiracy to commit murder and armed robbery.
Sherman’s family convulsed in tears at the verdict, whispering, “Thank you, Jesus.”
The convict smirked at the grieving family as an officer led him to a holding cell at the Central Police Station.
He is scheduled to return to court for the penalty phase of his trial on November 28.
Outside court, the victim’s relatives said they were “elated” at the verdict in stark contrast to their disappointment at the directed acquittals of Sherman’s widow, Renea, and Cordero Bethel.
The prosecution can appeal those acquittals which were directed after Justice Roy Jones upheld the no-case submissions. It is not known whether the Crown will avail itself of the provision made possible in a 2011 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code.
Jurors did not accept that police fabricated or illegally obtained a confession from Farrington as his lawyer Murrio Ducille suggested.
In his testimony, Farrington claimed that he signed a prepared document after officers from the Central Detective Unit struck him in the chest twice with handcuffs and placed an ammonia-laced plastic bag over his head.
Prosecutor Sandra Dee Gardiner dismissed the allegation of police brutality as a fabrication, noting that Farrington did not complain about any abuse at the hands of police until he was remanded to prison.
According to the confession, Farrington said he was recruited by his cousin Jermaine “Timer” Russell to kill a man whose wife wanted him dead.
Farrington said he was told the man “beat his wife and had a big insurance”.
He said he waited outside Sherman’s two-storey home in Yamacraw Shores and accosted him and a young woman at gunpoint when they arrived home.
He robbed them before shooting Sherman at point-blank range in the head, according to the confession.
Gardiner said that Farrington could not wait to receive his payment from the insurance settlement and decided to see what he could get right now.