Convicted Cocoa Piece quintuple murderer Rushane Barnett has received five life sentences that will run concurrently and will serve 61 years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.
The sentence was handed down on Thursday in the Home Circuit Court in Downtown Kingston by Justice Leighton Pusey, who stated that “adjectives were insufficient” to describe the crime. In July, Barnett pleaded guilty to the murder of his cousin Kemisha Wright,31, Keshawn Henry Jr, 23 months old, Rafaella Smith, 5, Kimanda Smith, 15, and Sharalee Smith,12, who were killed in their Cocoa Piece home on June 21. The victims were discovered with their throats slashed and received a total of 95 incised wounds.
In the areas of her chest, neck, abdomen, and waist, Wright sustained 48 wounds. Keshawn had 11 incised wounds, while Kimanda received nine incised wounds and four stab wounds. Sharalee had 22 incised wounds, and Rafaella had five. Prior to his guilty plea, Barnett told a forensic psychiatrist that voices in his head had instructed him to commit the murders.
After his arrest, Barnett was issued with a notice for the death penalty by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, who has described the quintuple murders as one of the worst that she has witnessed in the country. However, the notice was later withdrawn by Llewellyn, who said that the accused should be given credit for pleading guilty and recommended life imprisonment instead.