A longstanding Mega Force Promotion security guard, Hesten Mark has been ordered to spend the next 29 years and 11months of his life behind prison bars for the stabbing death of Mt. Craven, St. Patrick resident 23-year-old Kirt Fraser in April 2019.
Female High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford handed down the sentence last week Friday to the 30-year-old father, during a sitting of the St. George’s No.1 High Court at the Grenada National Stadium, Queen’s Park, St. George, sending a clear message that the court would not deal lightly with matters involving the loss of life.
Mark, who resided at Beaulieu, St. George at the time of his arrest, was initially slapped with the indictable charge of Non- Capital Murder but was found guilty of Manslaughter, in a unanimous decision reached by a 12-member jury at the end of his trial in February.
The evidence presented to the court showed that Fraser died after Mark stabbed him three times in his lower abdomen and upper left chest area with a 3-inch knife, which broke and remained embedded in his body, during a physical altercation that lasted less than a minute.
As part of sentencing, Justice Gilford also ordered Mark to undergo anger management counseling for a period as recommended by the counselor at the Richmond Hill Prison, or in default, spend an additional two years behind prison bars.
The evidence presented by the Prosecution indicated that prior to his unfortunate death, Fraser and some of his friends had a verbal altercation with Mark, who was manning the entry gate to the Pure Grenada Cup, which was being held at the Fond Playing Field in St. Patrick on April 28, 2019.
Mark had denied entry into the arena of Fraser and his friends who presented children’s tickets, which resulted in an exchange of harsh words and threats, which escalated outside the playing field after the event ended just after 1.00 a.m.
Mark took to the Witness Stand during his trial to give an account of how the altercation occurred as he sat in the tray at the back of the truck that was transporting him and his colleagues after the event.
He said that on reaching the nearby Shirmme shop, someone threw rum and coke in his face and he admitted to getting off the truck to confront the men.
He told the court that before he could open his mouth to ask a question, Fraser punched him on the right side of his jaw resulting in him losing a tooth.
“I don’t want people to think that I am a murderer that I just walked up to this boy and stab him – that is not me. I wanted people to get my story of what happened. I have been a security guard for more than 10 years. I travel all over Grenada selling goods to shops, I know these people from Mt. Craven,” he said.
“I am from St. Patrick’s (and) I do not want anyone to believe that unprovoked, I would just walk up to someone (just) because I am angry and stab them. That is not who I am as a person and I want the world to know that is not my character,” he added.
Mark’s American-trained Attorney-at-law, Jerry Edwin, failed in his attempts to secure a lesser sentence for his client whom he noted “reacted impulsively,” forgetting that he had the knife in his hand, which he had used a few minutes before to cut down the last event banner.
The attorney agreed that Mark is at fault for the killing but argued that his client never intended to cause harm to the deceased whom he described as the “aggressor” in the altercation.