Jamaican lady obtains 42-year sentence for slaying girlfriend in the Bahamas

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A Jamaican woman is expected to appeal her conviction and 42-year prison sentence for murdering her girlfriend during a dispute in The Bahamas last year.

The sentence was handed down on Nadisha Beckford by a judge in The Bahamas on Tuesday.

Beckford was convicted in June this year of fatally stabbing 31-year-old Lakiesha Mackey in the parking lot of the Mayfair Hotel along West Bay Street on February 20, 2021.

The two women were engaged in an argument when Beckford is alleged to have stabbed the woman several times.

The wounded woman was taken to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries two days later.

The Nassau Guardian reported that at the trial, where Beckford did not testify but relied on her record of an interview with the police, the Jamaican contended that she stabbed Mackey in self-defense.

Beckford claimed the woman attacked her with a broken bottle, which she eventually managed to wrestle from her hands.

The case for the prosecution involved the playing of audio of a recorded conversation between Beckford and another person shortly after the stabbing incident.

The Jamaican reportedly bragged about the stabbing of Mackey, describing herself as a “vampire”, and saying she would “drink” Mackey’s blood.

“… Call me when she died,” Beckford reportedly told the individual in the recording.

The jurors were also shown a video in which Beckford confessed to killing Mackey but claimed she was defending herself during the incident.

However, the jury rejected Beckford’s claim of self-defense and found her guilty of murder.

When Beckford faced sentencing in The Bahamas Tuesday, her attorney, Public Defender Dorsey McPhee, recommended that she be given a 12-year sentence, pointing out that his client was remorseful.

Additionally, McPhee said Beckford was of the view that the jury didn’t return a just verdict.

But prosecutor Cassie Bethell scoffed at that recommended sentence by the defense, and instead, asked for a range of 40 to 45 years of imprisonment for the Jamaican.

According to Bethell, a sentence in that range would be more appropriate given Beckford’s prior convictions for violence and the circumstances of the present case.

Bahamian judge, Justice Renae McKay, in handing down her 42-year sentence, weighed the “prevalence of murder and the particular circumstances of the offense”, the media report said.

Of note, the judge credited Beckford for the 15 months and 27 days she spent in police custody awaiting trial.

McPhee has, however, indicated to the Bahamian media that his client will appeal both the conviction and sentence.

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