By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, ROSEAU, Dominica, Thurs. May 6, 2021: A Dominica man who killed his Barbados friend and a University of the West Indies (UWI) student in what he said was an “occult” case, is set to be re-sentenced next month, more than 10 years after his murder conviction and first sentencing.
Sherman Webb, who was found guilty of the murder of Corey Rohan Poleon on June 22, 2012, after an eight-day trial, had also been sentenced to life in prison then.
But his lawyers appealed the verdict, and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) ordered a retrial.
On Tuesday, May 4, 2021, during a High Court sitting, the prosecution withdrew its earlier indictment of manslaughter and the charge was reread to Webb.
He then pleaded guilty to killing his “Bajan friend” after previously pleading non-guilty.
The Court had previously been told then that between August 31, 2009 and March 18, 2010 at Elmshall on the outskirts of the capital, Roseau, Webb killed Poleon.
Poleon’s family had reported him missing following his failure to return home in Barbados. His remains were later found beneath the floorboards of a small wooden house in, Elmshall, where Webb allegedly had taken Poleon and “chopped him on both sides of his neck.”
Webb had always maintained his innocence claiming that Poleon came to visit him in August 2009 to conduct an “occult ceremony which involved the summoning of a demon,” which would allow Poleon to receive his own guardian spirit.
He told the court during his 2012 trial that Poleon had returned to Dominica after an initial visit and two days after his arrival, they went up to a small house in Elmshall to conduct the ceremony.
Webb said that during the ceremony, the Barbadian became frightened which caused him to “step out of the circle” causing a demon to possess him.
He told the Court that he chopped Poleon on the neck with a cutlass to force the demon to leave his body and later buried him under the wooden house where they had conducted the ritual after “banishing the spirits.
“I do not agree that I killed Corey. He was a friend of mine,” the accused man said.
Samples of the remains unearthed by the police were sent to Jamaica and Barbados for testing and later confirmed to be those of Poleon.
Elmshall, who has been in jail for the past decade, is now set to be re-sentenced on June 21, 2021. But before handing down her sentence, Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts has ordered a social inquiry report and a psychiatric report by Dr. Griffin Benjamin on or before June 1, 2021. The prosecution and defense are to file their submissions on or before June 15, 2021.