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Mar 20, 2015

Akeem Thurton Appeals Conviction for Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams

Akeem Thurton

Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman have reserved judgment until next Friday, March 27, on the case of 23 year old Akeem Thurton, convicted in March of 2012 in the first ever trial of a murder charge heard by a judge alone – in this case Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin – without a jury present. Thurton along with the late Ricky Valencia was accused of the shooting of senior attorney Rodwell Williams outside his law firm Barrow and Williams on May 31, 2010. A few months later, after the Chinese community had marched through the streets demanding justice for the deaths of two Chinese female shopkeepers, the Barrow government passed amendments to the Indictable Procedure Act and Juries Act allowing for trial by judge alone, without a jury, on serious major crimes such as murder and attempted murder. The trial continued after Valencia was himself shot and killed in February of 2012, and Thurton had no representation in court, which is now a major plank of his case on appeal. Chief Justice Benjamin found Thurton guilty and sentenced him to fifteen years in prison. Thurton, represented by attorneys Nancy Anderson and Bryan Neal, presented twenty grounds of appeal ranging from charges that the amendments to the law are unconstitutional and prejudice the right to a fair hearing, were improperly applied to his case as it took place before they were passed, various errors of procedure by the trial judge, and a severe sentence in light of no previous convictions and the young age and otherwise good character of the accused. But the primary plank of the case is why Thurton was unable to properly defend himself against the charge because he was unable to get legal representation.

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1 Response for “Akeem Thurton Appeals Conviction for Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams”

  1. Rod says:

    I do believe this young man got the shaft the police were quick to nab anyone for this crime just because Rodwell is the pm good friend how did they find him so quickly when there is still over 900 unsolved murders in this country it shows the incompetence of this pm and his gov.

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