Woman sentenced to 20 years for sister’s murder

DUNCANS, Trelawny — Forty-year-old farmer Nadeen Geddes who pleaded guilty to the murder of her sister, 36-year-old Tamara Geddes, last year, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at hard labour in the Trelawny Circuit Court yesterday.

She will become eligible for parole after serving 15 years.

Tamara Geddes was gunned down in her bedroom in the Reserve community in Trelawny in the presence of her 10-year-old daughter on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Nadeen’s two daughters 21-year-old Shanice Ruddock and a 15-year-old who both pleaded guilty to misprison of a felony in the case, were each given three years’ probation by presiding judge Justice Martin Gayle. Their convictions have not been recorded.

Additionally, Nadeen, who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder 33-year-old Tennisia Miller of Carey Park, also in Trelawny, was given a five-year sentence for that count.

But the sentences are to run concurrently.

Miller is now facing the capital charge for the fatal stabbing of Nadeen’s brother, 38-year-old Gregory Geddes, a raft captain of Reserve district. He was killed during a dispute with Miller at a bar in Martha Brae in December 2019.

Yesterday, when Nadeen Geddes appeared in court clad in a grey blouse and a pair of jeans pants, the face mask she was wearing in adherence with COVID-19 safety protocols did not allow anyone to determine her mood.

Before handing down the sentence, Justice Gayle noted that the punishment “must denounce things like this”.

“When I look at the aggravated circumstances, a gun was involved, that is serious. Sister involved, that is serious; it happened at a house, the dwelling house; those are aggravated circumstances.The presence of a child, those are aggravated circumstances,” Justice Gayle said.

“To me, the only positive thing is the early plea. That’s the only thing. The rest are aggravated circumstances.

“The first thing that comes to mind is protection of society from persons like these. For you to kill your own sister, that is indeed serious. Families will have their quarrels from time immemorial, but no one expected death,” the judge said.

Last week, the court heard that Nadeen Geddes had shared a house with her two daughters and her sister. On May 10, 2020 Nadeen Geddes was said to have reported to the police that her sister had damaged her 200-gallon water tank. Consequently, Tamara Geddes promised the police that she would compensate her sister for the tank.

Justice Gayle noted that the two sisters had frequent disputes, but the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was the damaging of the ‘black tank’.

Attorney JC Mitchell, who defended Ruddock and her mother, said he had expected a lighter sentence than the 20 years, but declined to comment further on it.

He, however, explained that misprison, which in essence is the failure to report a serious crime to the police, is an antiquated offence.

“It’s an old offence, abolished in England…I think in 1967, but we still have it on our books here. In relation to that matter, the learned judge imposed a non-custodial sentence, that is to say she was given probation for three years and the conviction has not been recorded,” Mitchell said.

Tomorrow, Nadeen’s co-accused Brian Shelly, Owen Irving, and Tashana Young are scheduled to return to court.

On Monday, February 22, Rexon Knott, 24, another defendant, who was jointly charged with murder and conspiracy to murder in the matter, pleaded not guilty and was set free as the court had insufficient evidence to proceed against him.

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