Dominica seeking death sentence for man who murdered girlfriend
The life of one man in the Caribbean island of Dominica is hanging in the balance as he just may face the death penalty for the murder of his partner in 2015.
The last execution in Dominica was in 1986 and now 34 years later the state is seeking the death penalty for Rodman Moses Lewis who was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Triscia Riviere.
Just before 5pm on November 3, 2015, 4:50pm members of the Dominica police force responded to reports of a domestic dispute in
Stockfarm, a community just about 5 minutes away from the capital city Roseau.
The police found Tricia Riviere, the girlfriend of Lewis and mother of their young child bleeding with serious injuries.
She was unresponsive when officers arrived on the scene and was later pronounced dead.
The lead attorney for the State, Sherma Dalrymple believes that the heinous nature of the crime warrants an execution. She called it the “worst of the worst” noting also, that the death penalty is still on the law books of Dominica.
Lewis was convicted on November 19.
It only took one hour and fifteen minutes of deliberation for the jury to hand down the guilty verdict.
Up until his final hearing, Lewis, a former prison officer, maintained his innocence.
The trial took six and half weeks during which time more than a score of witnesses supported the prosecution’s case that Lewis had murdered Riviere.
The key witness for the state, Arlana Jno Baptiste Mitchel says she saw Lewis stomping on the head of the deceased several times.
He would not cease even after she tried to stop him.
He also used a weapon, a gas cylinder, which the investigating officer said he initialled but it could not be presented in evidence as the initialled cylinder could not be found.
The defence attorney for the accused called this a major flaw in the prosecution’s case adding that there was no proof that his client had caused the death of Riviere. He says none of the witnesses called for help for her even while Riviere was still clinging to life.
But with a guilty verdict handed down, sentencing is expected on February 1, 2021.