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I don’t hate my son’s killer

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The father of murder victim Shaki Crockwell said he harbours no hatred for his son’s killer.

Derek Spalding, 36, was convicted by a jury on Friday of shooting the football star dead in revenge for a drug debt.

The victim’s father, Danny Crockwell, 51, told

The Royal Gazette yesterday: “I dislike him but I don’t hate him. The Father says ‘never hate no man’, but what he done was wrong. If he was a man and Shaki owed him money then why didn’t he talk to me? I could have worked on something, but no, he took his life.–“He took my football star away from me, my Superman, my best friend, my daughters’ protection and I still miss him. The whole family misses him.”

The trial heard from two of Shaki’s girlfriends that he dealt drugs. They reported that he wore a bulletproof vest and seemed nervous in the weeks leading up to his death.

Prosecution witnesses who knew Spalding said Shaki sold drugs for him but did not pay him, leading Spalding to feel cheated and murder him in revenge.

Mr Crockwell Sr said he had no idea about the lifestyle his son was leading.

“The evidence was shocking because I didn’t know what he was into. All I knew about was football,” he said of his son, who played for the national team as well as the Bermuda Hogges and Boulevard Blazers.

“He lived his own life and no man’s life is worth money. I wish Shaki would have told me something but Shaki never told me nothing, or he would have been here today. I’m a no-nonsense man and I don’t take no nonsense.”

Mr Crockwell Sr, a cleaner and Agriculture and Fisheries worker from Middletown, Pembroke, attended every day of Spalding’s two-and-a-half-week trial. He was outside the courtroom trying to calm his nerves when news of the verdict came after four hours of deliberations by the jury.

When he heard the news, he said: “I must have jumped about three feet high and I just said ‘thank Jah’. I miss him; God knows I miss him and it can’t bring him back, but justice has been served.

“A lot of people have negative minds and are saying it was the wrong verdict and he didn’t do it, but if you weren’t in the court listening to the case you shouldn’t speak about it.”

Mr Crockwell Sr said the verdict resulted in some “closure” for his family which includes three daughters and a stepson as well as Shaki’s sons Qwezi, 12, and Santiago, five. However, they continue to grieve for their loss.

He said of his grandchildren: “When they come round we don’t discuss it but they know that their daddy’s gone. They miss him, trust me.”

The jury heard how Spalding was sentenced to 28 years in jail in 1997 for an armed robbery and attempted armed robbery committed the year before. By 2005, he was allowed out of prison on day release to sail on the replica slave ship Amistad when it visited Bermuda. He was released on parole in March 2007, and committed the murder five months later.

Mr Crockwell Sr said: “He was released too early. These guys going around shooting and killing; you do your time if you’re brought in guilty. If he hadn’t been released I would have had Shaki here today.”

Asked what sentence he believes Spalding should get for the murder, Mr Crockwell Sr, replied: “I’m not the judge. I can’t say what. Whatever he gets is whatever he gets, but he’s got another judgement coming. He’s got the Father to deal with and that’s a harder judgement than from the judge.”

Danny Crockwell, father of Shaki Crockwell, holds one of the many photos he keeps of his football star son, who was murdered by Derek Spalding in 2007. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Danny Crockwell, father of Shaki Crockwell, holds one of the many photos he keeps of his murdered son. (Photo by Akil Simmons).
Danny Crockwell, father of Shaki Crockwell, stands next to a collage created by Shaki?s son in his memory. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 13, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated February 13, 2012 at 6:22 am)

I don’t hate my son’s killer

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