Although sentenced to serve 16 years behind bars for the 2008 killing of scrap metal dealer Akbar Alli, Rondell Bacchus will only spend about five. Bacchus’s reduced time comes as a result of an order by Justice Navindra Singh to have the 11 years he spent on remand deducted from his sentence.
Bacchus, formerly of ‘C’ Field, Sophia, Greater Georgetown, was brought to the High Court in Georgetown this morning. He pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter, armed robbery, and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition. He was represented by attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes, Ashley Henry, and Ronald Daniels. Though initially indicted for the murder of Alli, Bacchus opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
According to reports, on July 24, 2008 Alli and his wife had gone to a city bank and later left for Brickdam, Georgetown to transact some business. It was during that time that Alli and his wife were robbed of a bag containing cash as soon as they stepped out of a motor vehicle. Reports indicate that Alli began running behind two armed men who were on a motorcycle when he was shot to the chest by the pillion rider.
Bacchus also pleaded guilty to another charge which stated that, on July 24, 2008 while armed with a gun, he robbed Alli and his wife, Bibi of $2.15M. He further pleaded guilty to another charge which stated that, on August 15, 2008, he had a .38 Colt revolver along with six rounds of matching ammunition in his possession when he was not the holder of a firearm licence enforced at the time.
On the charge of armed robbery, Justice Singh sentenced Bacchus to three years’ imprisonment, while on the charges for possession of an illegal gun and ammo he was sentenced to one year each. Justice Singh ordered that the four sentences run concurrently, meaning that they will all be served at the same time.
During a plea in mitigation, Hughes begged the court to have mercy on his client. The lawyer said that Bacchus had ample time to reflect on what he did and is extremely sorry for his actions. The lawyer went on to tell the court that his client wanted to apologise to Alli’s widow but, unfortunately, the woman was not present in court.
In his address, Bacchus said that he did not come to waste the court’s time of going through a long trial. Rather, he said, he came to accept responsibility for his actions. However, State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy asked the judge to consider that Alli, a father of two and a husband, was snatched away from his family thanks to Bacchus’s senseless actions.
Before Bacchus was escorted back to prison, he was advised by Justice Singh to prepare himself for release back into society. The judge told the confessed killer that he still believes that he can make a meaningful contribution to society.
Reports show that Bacchus was previously tried twice for Alli’s murder. However, the jurors in both cases were unable to reach a verdict.