Bus Conductor Who Killed And Dump 7-Y/O Girl in Rio Cobre Gets Life

Abus conductor who pleaded guilty to murder of the seven-year-old niece of his ex-girlfriend and discarding her body in the Rio Cobre was on Tuesday sentenced to life behind bars.

Vivian Vernon, who was driven by vengeance, will not be eligible for parole until he has served 21 years. He was also sentenced by Supreme Court Judge Justice Bertram Morrison to two years and 11 months for attempted arson of his ex-girlfriend's house. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Justice Morrison, in handing down the sentences, described the crime as "barbarous" and said any sentence less than what he handed down would shock the public conscience.

According to investigators, seven-year-old Kaliesha Cousins — who lived at West Avenue, Central Village, St Catherine — left home for Waterford Primary School in Portmore on November 5, 2014 but never made it back home.

According to the prosecution, which was led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Syleen O'Gilvie and Crown Counsel Nickeisha Young Shand, Kaliesha was quite familiar with Vernon who had been involved in an intimate relationship with her aunt, and as such would go anywhere with him, eat and play with him.

However, the relationship between Vernon and the aunt ended bitterly and on November 2, 2014, Vernon visited the aunt, which led to an altercation during which she used a pair of scissors to stab him all over his body. The following day Vernon returned to his ex-girlfriend's house and set it on fire, allegedly threatening that the family would "bawl and mourn".

In the facts of the case outlined to the court, Kaliesha was placed on a bus for school on the morning of November 5 by her grandmother. Vernon, who was a bus conductor plying the route from Bayside to Spanish Town and would sometimes carry Cousins to school and back home free of cost, removed the child from the bus, took her to another bus and took her to his house off the Dyke Road in Portmore, St Catherine.

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