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Attorney Jerry Edwin: The murder was justifiable

19-year-old Damiel Belfon – facing Non-Capital Murder charge in second homicide for the year

An act of self-defense.

This is the argument being advanced by American-trained Attorney Jerry Edwin, who was retained to assist 19 year old Sendall Street, Grenville resident Damiel Belfon, who is facing a Non-Capital Murder charge in connection with Saturday night’s stabbing death of 18 year old Guyanese national Dominic Fields, the second murder to be recorded for the year.

In an interview with reporters after his client made his first appearance before Magistrate Nevlyn John at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Attorney Edwin said, he is “reposed with absolute confidence” that Belfon would be exonerated from the murder charge.

The murder accused teenager was arrested by police investigators and charged after Fields, who also resided at Sendall Street, died as a result of a stab wound to the neck during an incident that occurred around 8:30 p.m. in the drug-infested gambling Trench Town area.

Sources told THE NEW TODAY that the fatal stabbing incident may have stemmed from a dispute that occurred during a card game about two (2) weeks ago in the Trench Town area.

Attorney Edwin alleged that Fields was one of two assailants who “accosted” his client last Saturday, brandishing “sharpened cutlasses” and that eyewitnesses can confirm that these men were looking for Daniel and indicated that they were “going to find him and deal with him.”

He said the murder-suspect who worked with his father at the Grenville Fish Market “acted in self-defense” when he retrieved “a small knife that he used at the workplace “to protect himself.”

“We are saying his actions were justified as a result acting in self-defense (and) we think a jury of his peers, should it come to that would find that he is not guilty of Non-Capital murder (as) murder is an intentional crime,” the defense attorney added, while pointing out that his client who is a first time offender “had no inclination, no history of violence.”

“His school principal, teachers, the community will tell you, this is a very quiet young man, who listens to his parents…” said Edwin, who told THE NEW TODAY that “unlike incidents of this type which occur in distressed communities, several persons have come forward, and made statements, all of which are inculpatory, and indicate the true nature of what happened on Saturday evening.”

Sources have identified the other assailant as ‘Kyle,’ who has been described as a person of an “unenviable reputation in the Town of Grenville” and a “serial trouble maker.”

THE NEW TODAY understands that Kyle was struck by a vehicle while attempting to run away from the scene, after witnessing the stabbing of his friend, and was still hospitalised at the time of Wednesday’s hearing.

Sources say that after receiving the stab to the neck that Fields walked a few yards, collapsed, and was later pronounced dead.

“These kinds of incidents, against the backdrop of the current spate of violence we see among young men, are troubling. This is not just a narrative of self-defense – it speaks to a kind of wanton violence,” Attorney Edwin told reporters.

“…I remember in the 1990s in New York, we were seeing young men just like now for no reason at all, just engaging in what they called ‘wilding’ meaning they were going wild (and) it’s almost as though we are seeing this in Grenada now,” he said.

The attorney-at-law expressed the view that “all of us as men must step to the bridge now, and help our young men who appear to me to be desperately crying out.”

“I don’t know about community (but) men must step up, and talk to these boys. I think they need us now more than ever,” he added, noting that “there is a mother of the deceased, she is grieving, the parents of my client, actually are grieving with her. In a case like this, no one is exempted from the collective pain of losing a life or seeing a son arrested. So, the pain is equally felt on both sides,” he remarked.

The American-trained attorney disclosed plans to make a bail application in the High Court “immediately” since the Magistrate’s Court does not have jurisdiction to grant bail for indictable offenses.

“I am certain our Director of Public Prosecution (DPP Christopher Nelson, QC), once he sees this file, he will not oppose our application for bail. I think any judicial officer who sees these facts will not oppose our application for bail,” he told reporters.

Magistrate John, who read the Non-Capital Murder charge to the murder accused teenager during Wednesday’s hearing has adjourned the matter to March 28.

The second murder comes approximately three (3) weeks after the first was recorded on February 12, with the gruesome mutilating death of 79 year old John Merchant, a Guyanese national who resided at Pearls, St. Andrew for several years.

27 year old Kelly Daniel of Pearls, St. Andrew, who is facing a Non-Capital Murder charge in connection with the death of the elderly man, made his second appearance before Magistrate John unrepresented on Monday.

However, the police prosecution indicated that it was not ready to proceed with the case against him as the matter was still under investigation.

Attorney Edwin has confirmed to THE NEW TODAY that he has also been retained to assist Daniel, who is scheduled to reappear in Court on March 14, when the Preliminary Inquiry into the matter is expected to commence.

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