Man gets hefty jail sentence for manslaughter

Tiyani Behanzin lawyer of Elton Bannis

High Court Judge Victoria Charles-Clarke today sentenced Daniel Elton Bannis of Castle Bruce to 15 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to man slaughter for the May 14, 2013 murder of 74-year-old Julius Joseph, better known as Edictor, also of Castle Bruce.

Joseph was found dead on the public road a short distance from the Castle Bruce secondary school on May 14, 2013.

Bannis’s lawyer, Tiyani Behanzin, in his mitigating plea, told the court that when the incident occurred in 2013, his client was then aged 27, married and the father of two young children.

“He has not had the chance to bond with his children…his marriage is now on the line; he has been in custody now for over five years. So, we’re asking the court to temper justice with mercy in passing sentence,” Behanzin said.

Before delivering her sentence, the judge said the deceased was never a threat to Bannis. In fact, they were family friends and he has shown “no remorse whatever even after his guilty plea,” she stated.

In passing sentence, Justice Charles-Clarke looked at the mitigating and aggravating factors and said the aggravating factors far outweighed the mitigating factors. She set the bench mark at 19 years and added 2 years for a total of 21 years since, according to her, “He was not remorseful for his actions.” Justice Charles-Clarke then gave a discount of 3 years seven months and subtracted the time served of 5 years 8 months, 2 weeks and two days which leaves a balance of 12 years 4 months.

Meantime, his lawyer Tiyani Behanzin called the case “a difficult one for all” but said he was “satisfied with the sentence since it was touch and go.”

“The incident was gruesome. He stabbed this frail, 74 year-old man several times with a knife across his neck and other parts of his body and refuses to show remorse for his actions,” Behanzin said.

He thanked the police officers for their work and expressed the view that after such investigations confronting such gruesome murders, the police should be given counseling.

“Instead they go back to work and to families and then retire with very little compensation for the work done for the State,” Behanzin stated.

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20 Comments

  1. mine
    February 9, 2019

    Theses lawyers are not easy, this guy stabbed and killed a 74 years senior as stated he had no remorse they should at list give more than fifteen years.

  2. BEB
    February 8, 2019

    I would like to know why he wasn’t charged with murder. That guy should be serving nothing less than 30 yrs. in prison.
    The accident was gruesome, he stabbed this frail 74 yrs. old man several times in his neck and other parts of his body and refused to show remorse for his actions, as stated by his lawyer. I have never heard of any
    gruesome manslaughter, I heard of gruesome murders, so definitely, he should be charged with murder. This is sending more messages to the other young men to go and commit more murders

  3. Bill Daniel
    February 8, 2019

    It appears to me ever act done by the civil servant in Dominica needs special attention even though they should and be prepared to encounter such crime or tasks. Based on what the lawyer is asking for, let’s run the list of the people that would need help. Spectators. the Coroner THE Funeral agencies and Families.
    THIS WAS A HORRIBLE CRIME, OF COURSE, ALL CRIMES ARE HORRIBLE, AND NO ONE DESERVES SUCH DEMISE. To all those affected by this heinous crime HOPE, YOU FIND SOLACE IN THE LORD.

  4. Disappointed
    February 8, 2019

    Lord my heart breaks to read the sentence granted to this man who committed such a gruesome crime. 15 years for stabbing an elderly man multiple times with a knife? ????And he shows NO remorse!!! One of my immediate family members was brutally murdered last year and just reading this verdict breaks my heart.

  5. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    February 8, 2019

    He should have thought about his wife and two kids, before murdering a defenseless senior citizen. What about the family members of the deceased? Let him sit and contemplate his fate, while doing hard Labor at Stockfarm. The streets of Roseau should be much cleaner now for the next 15 years. We have a new state employee who will work for free as he atones for his murderous ways. Good riddance. Enjoy your time in Stockfarm.

  6. Maybe
    February 8, 2019

    He didn’t get enough jail he should think of his family before he did that and should be a roll model for his kids and not going to commit murder

  7. ti nom
    February 8, 2019

    sorry but 15 years…. sa pa asè

  8. just passing
    February 8, 2019

    okay so why do you all have a picture of Tiyani Behanzin ( who is the Lawyer) and not Daniel Bannis. because if someone don’t read the article carefully they would think is Tiyani who committed the crime.

  9. FED UP
    February 8, 2019

    “The incident was gruesome. He stabbed this frail, 74 year-old man several times with a knife across his neck and other parts of his body and refuses to show remorse for his actions,” Behanzin said. His lawyer said this – then what was the point of having a lawyer? He would have done better being self-represented. Only in Dominica!

  10. Ferbrese
    February 8, 2019

    “The incident was gruesome. He stabbed this frail, 74 year-old man several times with a knife across his neck and other parts of his body and refuses to show remorse for his actions,” Behanzin said.

    He thanked the police officers for their work and expressed the view that after such investigations confronting such gruesome murders, the police should be given counseling.

    “Instead they go back to work and to families and then retire with very little compensation for the work done for the State,” Behanzin stated.

  11. True
    February 8, 2019

    Once you do the crime, be prepared to do the time ! :-|

  12. Karl Orndem
    February 8, 2019

    a human life is worth 10- 15 years in jail in Dominica. On very good behavior you can come out in less. Duly noted. bring back hanging and cat-o-nine. fellas used to behave themselves more when these punishments were around. that “time out” mentality is what is raising these killers.

  13. malick
    February 8, 2019

    The lawyer stated:

    “after such investigations confronting such gruesome murders, the police should be given counseling.”

    This is a very relevant matter that is given very little attention in the police service of Dominica. I have not heard anyone one else, especially within the administrative ranks of the police service, advocate counseling for officers investigating or otherwise involved in gruesome murders or vicious crimes.

    They are left to return to their families…where these officers has no other option that to confide in their spouse as an avenue of releasing these emotions / feelings.
    This is definitely not fair to the spouse and the family unit as a whole…..

  14. Christine
    February 8, 2019

    Hmmm, I wonder why its manslaughter and not murder…it could not have been that there was an element of provocation since the judge said this poor old man presented no threat to him and if he stabbed him so many times his intention was clear…anyhow

  15. February 8, 2019

    I commend High Court Judge Victoria Charles-Clarke for sentencing Daniel Elton Bannis to a long sentence for manslaughter and sending a strong message about the consequences one’s action, because manslaughter sentences are usually only about 5 to 7 years. I cannot understand why a man with a family will lose his focus and allow himself to get in such a situation. Even if he was provoked, it is always a good idea to think of the consequences before acting. Now it has already cost him money and some time, and now more time; and probably his marriage.

  16. Braindamage
    February 7, 2019

    What a strange world we are living. ….. Every move we make here is a risk…

  17. Bwa-Banday
    February 7, 2019

    Always humble in your dealings sir. Sadly, as an officer of the court your job as usual is to ensure justice is served and in this case it was.

  18. NICK
    February 7, 2019

    That’s a slap on the wrist, a hefty sentence would be above fifty years.

  19. Not A Herd Follower
    February 7, 2019

    He should get plenty more years especially as he shows no remorse. The law is too soft on these heinous murderers.

  20. %
    February 7, 2019

    What is the hefty jail sentence? 15 years!!!!! Stupppeeeessssssss!!!!!
    The man should be hung!!!! The lurid details of the crime,is enough to make any same human being cringe….!! The criminal justice system on island is broken!!!
    Give me a break!!!!

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