BREAKING NEWS: Sherman Webb, convicted of cult manslaughter, released from prison

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Webb was released today for time served

Sherman Webb, 41 from Kingshill who was in 2012 convicted of the murder of Barbadian Corey Rohan Poleon, and later granted a new trial by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) has been ordered released from prison time served today.

On May 4, 2021, at a High Court session today, the prosecution withdrew their earlier indictment of murder and a lesser charge of manslaughter was read to Webb to which he pleaded guilty.

According to court information, between August 31, 2009 and March 18, 2010, in Elmshall, Webb unlawfully killed Poleon, a 24-year-old West Indies (UWI) university student who had traveled to Dominica to meet Webb after the men have met. by Internet.

Barbadian Corey Poleon who was killed by Sherman Webb

Poleon’s family members reported him missing following his inability to return home to Barbados.

Webb later, of his own free will, confessed to the police that he had killed his “Bajan friend”.

He then led them to a small wooden house in River Claire, Elmshall, where Poleon’s mortal remains were found under the floorboards.

Following his confession, Webb claimed his innocence, claiming that Poleon had come to visit him in August 2009 to conduct an “occult ceremony involving the summoning of a demon”, which would allow Poleon to receive his own guardian spirit.

He told the court during his trial in 2012 that Poleon returned to Dominica after an initial visit and two days after his arrival they went to a small house in Elmshall to hold the ceremony.

Webb said that during said ceremony, the Barbadian got scared which caused him to “step out of the circle”, causing a demon to possess him.

He said he cut Poleon in the neck with a cutlass to force the demon out of his body and later buried him under the wooden house where they had conducted the ritual after “banishing the spirits”.

When his corpse was discovered, samples of the remains dug up by the police were taken to Jamaica and Barbados for testing and the remains were confirmed to be those of Poleon.

Investigators reportedly found several items related to some form of satanic ritual at Webb’s home.

On June 22, 2012, after an eight-day trial, a nine-member jury returned a verdict of guilty in the case.

Two weeks later, on July 20, 2012, Judge Bernie Stephenson Brooks sentenced Webb to life in prison.

Before sentencing, Judge Brooks called the facts of the case “unusual, unfortunate and bizarre”.

She described the Poleon’s killing as “cold, callous, brutal, calculated and heinous” and said the court needed to send a strong message to society that such acts would not be tolerated.

The conviction was later appealed in 2016 and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) overturned Web’s conviction and ordered a new trial.

Webb’s attorney at the time, Peter Alleyne, had four grounds of appeal, namely that the trial judge erred when she failed to explain to the jury an accident of law; the trial judge failed to properly address the jury on the law governing self-defence; the trial judge did not address the issue or the defense of accident and, according to Alleyne, she was biased and prejudiced against her client.

The ECSC judges, however, dismissed his first ground of appeal and upheld the second ground and found that the trial judge had given instructions in a “vacuum”.

In 2021, when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, his solicitor Kondwani Williams, in a mitigating plea, asked High Court Judge Adrien-Roberts to release Webb for time-lapse murder.

Before handing down her sentence, Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts had ordered a social investigation report and a psychiatric report from Dr. Griffin Benjamin.

At virtual sentencing today – February 4, 2022 – Judge Roberts said both reports were considered in constructing her sentence.

She said the judicial authorities are suggesting a benchmark sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment for the offense of manslaughter and that in handing down her sentence, it will be adjusted to reflect the circumstances of this case.

In establishing a starting point, the judge said she had no reason to deviate from the 15-year benchmark because the deceased lost his life in “strange” circumstances.

Adjusting his sentence, Judge Adrien-Roberts said there were no mitigating circumstances for the offense, but that the aggravating circumstance of the crime was the fact that Webb hid the body in a remote area where he could not be found, so one year was added to the 15-year sentence.

With respect to the offender’s mitigating and aggravating factors, the court found that the mitigating factor in his favor was Webb’s cooperation and assistance with the police in solving the case, the fact that he was a A first-time and remorseful offender, he was also considered a “counsellor” to other inmates at Dominica State Prison and seemed less angry than when he was first incarcerated.

There were no aggravating circumstances against him, so the sentence was reduced to one year.

His lawyer had also asked the court to take into account the delays in the prosecution of this case which the judge considered and granted him a deduction of three months, his sentence was then 14 years and 3 months.

For Webbs, a one-third time guilty plea, which amounted to 5 years, was also removed from his sentence.

In addition, the defendant has been incarcerated since September 16, 2010, so for his time spent in police custody – 11 years 4 months and 18 days – the time has been fully credited.

Webb was later sentenced to prison and released from Dominica State Prison effective immediately.

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