PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A 21-year-old man whose murder conviction was overturned by Rhode Island’s highest court has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Quandell Husband had been facing two consecutive life sentences for his role in a 2012 triple slaying before the state Supreme Court found in June that a lower court judge abused his discretion by allowing the jury to consider “enormously prejudicial” evidence that shouldn’t have been admitted at the trial.
The Providence Journal reports that after the Supreme Court sent the case back to the Superior Court for a new trial, Husband pleaded guilty this month to one count of assault with intent to commit robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Authorities say Husband, who was 16 at the time, plotted with three others to rob a marijuana dealer at a Providence apartment. During the robbery, Husband’s friend, Russell Burrell, fatally shot Shemeeka Barros, her boyfriend Michael Martin and their friend, Damien Colon, prosecutors said.
“On the evening of July 30, 2012, Quandell Husband did not have the gun, did not fire the gun, and did not kill anyone — Russell Burrell did,” Assistant Attorney General James Baum said during the hearing for Husband’s guilty plea, according to a draft of Baum’s statement. Baum said after the robbery and murders, Husband took the gun from Burrell and hid it.
Husband’s lawyer, Thomas G. Briody said Husband accepts responsibility for engaging in the conspiracy with Burrell and hiding the gun Burrell used, but he continues to deny that he was present at the scene of the robbery.
“He is, however, remorseful for the loss of life,” Briody said. Husband has also asked the victims’ families for forgiveness, his attorney said.
“I think he’s done a lot of growing up in a very difficult environment,” Briody said.
Burrell pleaded guilty to killing Barros, Martin and Colon and is serving four consecutive life sentences behind bars.
Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com