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Chad David convicted of Non-Capital Murder

20-Year-old Chad David - will know his fate on December 22

In what has been termed a case of premeditation, 20-year-old Chad David of Duquense, St. Mark has been convicted of Non-Capital Murder in connection with the October 2019 chopping death of his older cousin, Marvin Francis, 34, who resided in the same village.

The unanimous verdict was handed down last week Thursday by a 12- member jury after close to two (2) hours of deliberations at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court, where the almost 4-week trial concluded before female High Court Judge Madam Justice Paula Gilford, who has scheduled sentencing for December 22.

The now convicted felon, who faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment was just 17-years-old when he committed the gruesome crime, using a cutlass to chop the deceased 12 times about his body, during an incident that occurred in the presence of his mother on October 14, 2019, in the northwestern village of Duquense, St Mark, in an area known as ‘Cow Hill.’

An autopsy revealed that Francis died as a result of a chop wound to the left side of the neck, which had cut off blood flow to and from his brain.

The young murder convict had retained American-trained Attorney-at-Law Jerry Edwin, who failed to convince the jurors that his client, who was “beaten up” by Francis during a violent physical altercation earlier in the day, took reasonable action to defend himself from what he perceived as another physical attack.

The fracas came about some weeks after the deceased who was described as an “unsavoury character” in the small village had lured David into a house where persons were engaged in gambling, and encouraged the then-teenager to borrow money from him with an undertaking to pay him back after he had lost his first round.

Attorney Edwin contended that Francis, who was also well-known within the precincts of the Richmond Hill Prison, latched onto the young man, who was at the time employed as an itinerant labourer, tricked him into a card game, and thereafter demanded money that was owed to him, and when the money was not paid, confronted Chad and battered him on the day in question.

“The defense position is not that Marvin deserved what he got – that’s not the case – Chad acted in a way because he believed that the man who had beat him up earlier that day was going to do so again,” said Attorney Edwin in his closing arguments.

The criminal defense lawyer argued that his 20-year-old client pulled the cutlass out of fear of what would happen after seeing Francis, who was at the time confronting his mother about the monies he was owing, dip into his pocket for what was perceived to be a weapon as he walked towards him.

Although the trial revealed that a knife was found in a pocket of the deceased, Senior Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Howard Pinnock, contended that Chad’s behaviour was “excessive and unreasonable” and that “he was not afraid of Francis” and had an “intent to deal with him once and for all…as he went to four (4) persons in the vicinity that evening asking for a blade” in what he went on to describe “as a clear case of premeditated murder.”

In his closing arguments the Senior Crown Counsel, who called 10 witnesses to support the Prosecution’s case, highlighted evidence presented to the court that when Marvin fell to the ground after receiving the first chop on the left side of his neck, Chad continued to chop him up, and was heard by one witness telling Francis “ah killing you today.”

Explaining that Chad’s actions were not lawful self-defense, Pinnock noted that “self-defense has a standard, and it has to be attested” and warned that “when persons like Marvin Francis bully you, you have to leave it in the hands of the law and not take matters into your own hands.”

“You’re not gonna find a clearer case of murder than in this case,” the state prosecutor told the court.

The 20-year-old murder convict is a former student of the St. Mark’s Secondary School and has been described as a “menace to society” by one individual, who told reporters that the incident came as no surprise.

“He dropped out of school. He is a reckless boy, a bandit…he always thieving and very disrespectful. When I heard that he killed someone, it was no surprise to me. That boy bad, bad from day one,” the individual told reporters in an interview following the fatal chopping incident three (3) years ago.

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