After serving two years in prison for a crime of murder, Tisagh Chase has been released from prison.
The Court of Appeal headed by Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Janice Pereira, on Monday quashed Chase 12-year sentence for the death of Kevin Hillaire of Mardigras, St. Paul’s sometime between June 12 and 13, 2008.
Hillaire died from a single stab wound he received during an altercation he had with Chase at an apartment in Mont Tout, St. George’s that was being occupied by Trisha Haywood, Chase’s girlfriend and child mother.
Chase was found guilty of the crime at High Court Number One on July 26, 2011, and was given the 12-year prison sentence by Madam Justice Clare Henry.
Defense Counsel Ruggles Ferguson who constantly maintained that his client acted in self defense and should not have been given such a harsh penalty cited technical difficulties on the part of Justice Henry in summing up the case.
Ferguson pointed out that Chase acted in self defense and in defense of another at the time when Hillaire met his death.
“As I have always indicated he ought not to have been charged with murder at least… at best possibly manslaughter,” the lawyer said.
The State, however, had offered manslaughter to the defense just before the murder trial commenced, but it was rejected.
Ferguson said although the offer was rejected and Chase was convicted, the defense was always confident that at the end of the day Chase would have prevailed.
According to Ferguson the State did not object to the appeal in consideration of the written submissions that were filed in support of the grounds of the appeal.
Among the grounds of the appeal were self defense and defense of another person.
Ferguson said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Christopher Nelson felt that the directions given to the jury by Justice Henry on the issue of self defense and defense of another was inadequate which was upheld by the appeal court.
The defense counsel said that with the conviction having been quashed there will be no criminal record against Chase’s name.
However, he said it is unfortunate that Chase had already spent two years in prison.
Chase was quickly whisked away by relatives from the precincts of the court.
Meanwhile, St. Andrew’s resident Ricardo Edgar was also released Monday from prison.
The Court of Appeal which agreed with the grounds of provocation as advanced by the defense and quashed the murder conviction and imposed the lesser offense of manslaughter on Edgar who resides at Telescope, St. Andrew’s.
As a result of the decision taken by the Court of Appeal, Edgar, a labourer was given time served after he had already spent eight years at the Richmond Hill Prison.
He was sentenced to serve 16 years at the Richmond Hill prison for the murder of Enoch Noel alias Crapaud Bone by High Court Judge, Madam Justice Clare Henry, on June 9, 2011.
The murder took place on July 2, 2008 in the Town of Grenville, St. Andrew’s.
Edgar was found guilty on March 10, 2011 for the murder.
The accused who was 20 years of age at the time of the incident had an altercation at a club in Grenville with Noel over a bag belonging to the deceased.