Former Schoolteacher John Redhead has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2012 brutal and cruel murder of his former girlfriend, 19 year-old Akera Lalgie of Upper Bay Road, La Tante, St. David.
The 26 year-old convicted murderer, who was represented by attorney-at-law, Ruggles Ferguson of the law firm of Ciboney Chambers was also ordered to undergo physiological and anger management treatment by Madam Justice Paula Gilford who handed down the judgment Tuesday at High Court Number 2 on the Carenage, St. George’s.
The presiding judge did not afford Redhead the privilege of a remission for the time already spent on remand at the Richmond Hill prison and will have to serve the entire 25 years, which started Tuesday, the day the judgment was handed down.
Speaking with the media following the sentence, State Prosecutor, attorney-at-law, Howard Pinnock, who is a Senior Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), expressed satisfaction with the sentence “based on past sentences for murder”.
He told reporters that the mother of the deceased is “somewhat satisfied” as well with the outcome of the case.
“We are satisfied with the sentence…you can never be totally satisfied with the loss or what comes of a case where you have lost your daughter only 18 years of age,” he said.
In May 2014, Redhead pleaded not guilty to murder, however, he changed his mind and pleaded guilty to the charge on April 15, less than three weeks ago before Madam Justice Gilford.
The torso of Redhead’s teenage victim was discovered in a plastic garbage bag hidden inside a shopping bag with its head, arms and legs missing, by a Vagrant who was in search of food at a dustbin.
Her dismembered body was discovered in an area known as Simmons Alley within the Town of St. George’s on July 26th, 2012. Her head and legs were never recovered.
Redhead was 23 years old at the time of the incident.
Pinnock said that among the issues considered by the learned judge before coming to her decision to sentence Redhead to 25 years in prison was the fact that the “offense was not per-meditated”, he “had no previous offenses” and that he was “previously someone of good character,” but he said most “significant” would have been his guilty plea to the murder charge.
“It’s a significant fact when someone can plead guilty to an offense of murder,” Pinnock said, adding that if the accused choose to allow the matter to go to trial as was his right, the Prosecution “would have had to call a total 12 witnesses” one of which Pinnock noted “is presently out of state working in another jurisdiction.”
He pointed out that the State would have had to find the money to bring the witness back to Grenada for the proceedings.
Emotions ran high the morning of July 30, 2012 when John Redhead appeared at the St George’s Number 2 High Court, for the first time as the main suspect in the murder of Akera.
The incident had sparked an emotional response, with many openly crying. Outbursts from the crowd included, “John, we still love you”,
“You should have walked away John,” and “They will lose you in jail.”
Now three years later, family members and friends of both Redhead and the deceased were seen openly crying outside the Court following Tuesday’s sentencing.
According to the autopsy report, Akera died as a result of hypovolemic shock – an emergency condition in which severe blood and fluid loss make the heart unable to pump enough blood through the body. This type of shock can cause many organs to stop working.
The report also stated that the teenager was partially strangled.