Dwight Henry, the St Mary man who pleaded guilty earlier this month to killing two United States missionaries in the parish six years ago, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes.
Henry, a 32-year-old farmer of Wentworth in St Mary, is to serve 28 years in prison before he is eligible for parole consideration in relation to the 2016 slaying of 48-year-old Randy Hentzel and 53-year-old Harold Nichols.
The convict was on Friday sentenced by High Court Judge, Justice Leighton Pusey, in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston in an in-camera hearing from which members of the media and persons unrelated to the case were barred.
The media was initially barred from the hearing of Henry’s guilty plea on Tuesday, January 10, as the judge expressed concern that the upcoming trial of his co-accused, Andre Thomas, could be compromised if potential jury members heard of certain facts of the case in the media.
The trial against Thomas is yet to begin, and he is to return to court on Monday for a date to be finalised for the proceedings to get under way.
Hentzel and Nichols of US outreach group, TEAMS for Medical Missions, were found dead in bushes in Albion Mountain district, St Mary on Saturday, April 30, 2016; and Sunday, May 1, 2016, respectively.
Henry and Thomas were in their mid-20s at the time the murder charges were laid against them.
The two missionaries were reportedly last seen alive when they left Tower Isle in St Mary on motorcycles at about 8am on Saturday, April 30, 2016.
Residents later stumbled upon their bodies in bushes. Hentzel was found with his hands bound and his face down, while Nichols’ body was found with his head bashed in.
Autopsies later concluded that Hentzel died of a gunshot wound, while Nichols had gunshot and chop wounds.