Life sentence for fatal baseball bat attack
A mother of three has been jailed for life for the murder of a teenage boy.
Kiahna Trott-Edwards was told she would spend a minimum of eight years behind bars for fatally striking Shijuan Mungal around the head with a baseball bat before she could be considered for release on parole.
The 32-year-old broke down in tears as she apologised to the teenager's family in court yesterday before Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons passed sentence.
Trott-Edwards said: “I honestly know there is nothing I can say or do that will bring Shijuan back. I truly wish there was.
“The reality is that as a result of my actions a mother has lost her only child. I have relived that day every day since and I wish things had happened differently. I wish I had reacted differently.”
She maintained that she never intended to seriously injure Mr Mungal, let alone kill him, and revealed she had appealed against the conviction.
Turning to his family in the public gallery she added: “I can not explain how sorry I am to Shijuan's family. I was crushed when I heard he had died. That haunts me every day and I have to live with that for the rest of my life.
“I have three young babies and I have had to explain to them why I find myself in this situation. This is truly a tragic situation all the way around.”
Trott-Edwards was found guilty of murdering Mr Mungal, a Berkeley Institute student, in the wake of a confrontation on September 8, 2014, outside the housing complex where she resided near Ord Road, Warwick.
The teenager died in hospital three days after being struck twice with a baseball bat: once in the arm and once in the back of the head, which fractured his skull.
During her Supreme Court trial, Trott-Edwards said she had struck in self-defence, maintaining that Mr Mungal had earlier become hostile after she reprimanded him for loudly using bad language on a public bus.
However the jury rejected her version of events and convicted her of murder.
Yesterday she showed little emotion as the sentence was handed down and she was led out of court to begin her sentence.
Puisne Judge Simmons told the court that the law prevented her from imposing a minimum tariff greater than 15 years, and she had reduced that minimum term to eight years to take into account mitigating factors.
“I can not consider a minimum term of more than 15 years,” she said.
“Using 15 years as a starting point, aggravating factors can not increase the minimum term, but mitigating factors can be taken into account to decrease it.”
Previously the prosecution had argued that Trott-Edwards should serve a minimum of 15 years in prison before she could be considered for release, however her lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, QC, insisted the minimum tariff range should be between six and eight years.
Mr Griffiths also provided the court with a letter written by Trott-Edward's uncle, former premier Ewart Brown, in support of his niece.
Dr Brown's letter stated: “I am writing to you to ask you to extend to her (Trott-Edwards) whatever mercy you feel able in the circumstances.
“I am obviously saddened by the loss of a young life and my heart goes out to his family and friends. Kiahna obviously made the worst mistake of her young life and we have rallied around her. My brothers and I have committed to supporting her.”
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