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A man from Morvant has been sentenced to almost 18 years in prison after admitting to his role in the killing of a man in 2003.

Elton Davis, of Pelican Extension, in Morvant, was initially charged with murdering James La Rode and for the attempted murder of La Rode’s common-law wife Natalie Duncan but was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter following plea discussions with State prosecutors.

On Tuesday, High Court Judge Althea Alexis-Windsor sentenced Davis to 17 and a half years in prison.

As Davis had spent almost the same length of time on remand awaiting trial for the attack on La Rode and other offences, he was set to be released.

According to the summary of evidence in the case, around 11 pm on February 9, 2003, La Rode and Duncan left her mother’s house at Upper Pashley Street in Laventille.

After walking a short distance, the couple was ambushed by three gunmen. La Rode reportedly attempted to reason with the men but they opened fire on him and Duncan.

La Rode was shot 11 times and died on the scene. Duncan remained warded in the hospital for some time and recovered.

Davis was eventually charged with the attack on the couple after he was arrested by police in relation to another murder.

He allegedly admitted to being one of the three men, who ambushed the couple, but claimed that one of his accomplices shot them by mistake as he believed that La Rode was a rival gang member.

Davis was also charged with three other murders, which occurred within months of La Rode’s.

However, he was found not guilty of those crimes previously.

Davis was represented by Josiah Soo Hon.