During an interview with the Jamaica Observer last month, defense attorney Stephen Rosen said that even if the defence presents evidence to rebut that given by prosecution witnesses during an evidentiary hearing, Coke would be “sentenced on June 8”.
The final chapter in the long-running saga follows two days of damning testimony by two prosecution witnesses during the evidentiary hearing last month.
The former Tivoli Gardens strongman is facing a maximum of 23 years behind bars under a plea bargain arrangement reached between prosecutors and his defense team last August.
He was originally facing 40 years to life after being indicted on drugs and weapons charges. Coke eventually pleaded to the lesser charges of conspiracy under the plea bargaining arrangement.
Judge Robert P Patterson ordered last month’s evidentiary hearing after agreeing with Coke’s defense team that prosecutors had not presented sufficient evidence to support their request that the maximum sentence be imposed on Coke.
That ruling was interpreted as a major victory for the defence. But after the damming testimonies by the two witnesses — one of whom accused Coke of murders, drug and weapons smuggling — there are some in legal circles here who feel the move may have hurt Coke’s chances of a reduced sentence.
Whatever the outcome, Judge Patterson is also likely to consider time served by Coke who has been incarcerated since the middle of 2010.