Bannis’ Attorney, Tiyani Behanzin, in his mitigating plea, told the court that his client was then aged 27, when the incident occurred in 2013, he was married, and was the father of two young children. He told the court, “He has not had the chance to bond with his children…his marriage is now on the line; he has been in custody now for over five years. So, we’re asking the court to temper justice with mercy in passing sentence”.
The judge however said, the deceased was never a threat to Bannis, that they were family friends, and he has shown “no remorse whatever even after his guilty plea”. Justice Charles-Clarke said the aggravating factors far outweighed the mitigating factors. She set the bench mark at 19 years and added 2 years for a total of 21 years. According to her, “He was not remorseful for his actions.” She however gave a discount of 3 years seven months, and subtracted the time served of 5 years 8 months, 2 weeks and two days, which left a balance of 12 years 4 months.
Bannis’ Attorney Tiyani Behanzin called the case “a difficult one for all” but said he was “satisfied with the sentence since it was touch and go. The incident was gruesome. He stabbed this frail, 74-year-old man several times with a knife across his neck and other parts of his body and refuses to show remorse for his actions.” He thanked the police officers for their work.