Dancehall artiste Laden should become eligible for parole in a year.
Laden was sentenced to four years in prison this week following his recent run-in with the law. As per the Criminal Justice (Administration) (Amendment) Act, the deejay’s sentence was discounted after the short trial that ensued when he pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition as according to The STAR, he “did not waste the court’s time.”
The “I’m Sorry” deejay, whose legal name is Okeefe Aarons, appeared in the St. Elizabeth Circuit Court on Tuesday for his sentence hearing, which was delayed until yesterday. His case was aided by character witnesses Christopher Martin and St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation’s councilor for the Junction division, Cetany Holness, while he is represented by attorney Thomas Levene.
The judge overseeing the case, Justice Evon Brown, noted in court that in addition to pleading guilty, Laden’s character witness testimonies and the fact that he had no prior record helped his case. “He [Justice Brown] went through great lengths to explain how he arrived at the sentences, the aggravating circumstances and the mitigating circumstances,” Laden’s attorney explained.
“The police chase, the throwing away of the firearm were among several things deemed to be aggravating.” The lawyer also said that Laden “appeared more settled after the verdict and remained respectful to the court and dignified in his conduct” and that “In practical terms, he may apply for parole after one year.”
Laden was arrested in late October along with two other male suspects, one of whom is a minor. Aarons took the fall while the charges against the other men were formally dismissed. According to reports, the deejay and his two associates were commuting in a black Mercedes-Benz in the Cheapside, St. Elizabeth area on October 28 when police officers signaled them to pull over.
The dancehall artiste, who was the driver of the vehicle, reportedly refused to stop, and a chase ensued. At that point, lawmen say an object was witnessed being tossed out of the vehicle through the sunroof. After they caught up with the suspects, they returned to the location where they reportedly retrieved a Hi-point 9mm pistol and magazine with a single round of ammunition. The deejay was sentenced to four years for illegal possession of a firearm and 18 months for illegal possession of ammunition and will serve both sentences concurrently.
Based on the law and as Attorney-at-law Thomas Levene confirmed, Laden can apply for parole next year, so he might be out sooner than four years.