By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 25-year-old man wants to apologise to the family of a man he shot to death three years ago.
Christopher McQueen maintains he shot the man because the deceased threatened him and accused him of seeing his girlfriend.
McQueen told Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson yesterday that he has written an apology letter to Martin Nixon's family for taking their loved one's life in August 2016.
McQueen's comment came after a senior probation officer revealed that McQueen told her he was very remorseful over what happened and that he wished he could apologise because he "did not intend" to kill Nixon.
According to the probation officer, McQueen walked away from an initial verbal altercation with Nixon, but allowed his "ego and anger" to cause him to return and confront the man, ultimately leading to his death.
The officer's statements came during what was supposed to be McQueen's sentencing hearing. The Crown is seeking 18 to 35 years for the crime - manslaughter by provocation - while his attorney, Bjorn Ferguson, is seeking a sentence on the lower end of the spectrum.
According to the facts, McQueen was hanging out at S & Y Sporting Lounge on Blue Hill Road south on the date in question. He left the lounge and walked towards a nearby store to purchase a cigar.
While walking towards the store, he saw Nixon and his girlfriend in the road arguing. As McQueen approached the pair, Nixon accused his girlfriend of "seeing other people" and turned to look in McQueen's direction. When McQueen asked Nixon who he was referring to, Nixon said he meant him and stated, "You know we get all the guns."
McQueen said he felt threatened, and consequently returned to the lounge. While there, he told his friend, Kyle Newbold, his former co-accused, about what had happened.
McQueen said Newbold suggested that they go back to where Nixon and his girlfriend were, and said he agreed with the plan.
McQueen said as they were walking towards the area where Nixon was, the deceased walked towards them with his hand under his shirt. Newbold subsequently pulled out a gun from his trousers. McQueen then took the gun from Newbold and shot Nixon once in the leg; however, three bullets came out of the gun.
McQueen and Newbold subsequently left the scene and returned to the lounge, where McQueen said he called for an ambulance. He did not remain in the area however, and was arrested several days later.
Nixon, meanwhile, was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries early the next morning.
Yesterday, the probation officer said McQueen was reared in a nuclear family until the age of six, when his parents separated. As a result, his relationship with his father, after whom he is named, was fractured until his teenage years.
McQueen matriculated through both the public and private school systems until the 10th grade, when he became a teen father and dropped out of school. However, he pursued higher education a few years later at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), and earned a certificate in auto mechanics.
McQueen then sought employment and worked at various places until approximately a few months before his incarceration for the offence.
According to the probation officer, the people she interviewed spoke favourably of McQueen's character. He was described as a quiet, mannerly, supportive and attentive father. Dwight Bain, a former employer, described the young man as a great employee and someone who stayed to himself, the probation officer said.
She also said the people she interviewed expressed shock at McQueen's criminal actions. According to the probation officer, McQueen's mother even stated that "his actions is not the person that she knows."
Yesterday, in responses to questions by Mr Ferguson, the probation officer said while she wouldn't agree that McQueen pursuing higher education after dropping out of high school is uncommon, she could agree that he is an industrious young man. She also agreed that McQueen is productive and can be rehabilitated. She further agreed to suggestions that it is not common for a man his age to have a clean record based on her experiences.
According to Justice Grant-Thompson, McQueen didn't plead guilty at the first opportunity, but did so at the point when the jury was empaneled.
She subsequently adjourned McQueen's sentencing to October 1.