Family members of Alison Henry from Plaisance, St. Andrew who was murdered at the age of 31, have expressed satisfaction with the unanimous guilty verdict handed down on De Blandeau, St. Andrew resident, 62-year-old Albert Alexander, by a 9-member jury last week Friday.
The decision was handed down exactly two years since the deceased was taken to his final resting place.
The jury arrived at the verdict following a trial at High Court No. 2 on The Carenage in St. George’s, before Guyanese-born female Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford.
Alexander will have to return to court on July 25 for sentencing on the non-capital murder charge.
Speaking to reporters after the delivery of the verdict, the twin sister of the deceased, who wished not to be photographed or identified, told reporters she believes that “the verdict was fair based on the evidence presented to the court during the trial.”
The young lady, who attended the trial from start to finish also noted that Alexander’s defense, which was led by seasoned criminal defense attorney, Anselm Clouden, was based on a claim “that he (her deceased brother) ran into the knife, but what the autopsy is saying is that even if he ran into the knife maybe he could have survived but it is the wound to his chest that actually caused his death.”
When asked how the family was coping since Henry’s death, she said, the whole ordeal has been “a lot to take in.”
“Actually, coming to court every day and listening, it is like everything is replaying in your mind again. Even though we have forgiven the guilty man (Alexander), who is also our second cousin on our father’s side (of the family) it’s really a lot to take in…really hard to digest as a family,” said the twin sister, who was accompanied by her mother and older sister.
“We forgive him, we have also asked God to forgive him…we thank God for Justice (because) he did something that no one wouldn’t want to happen to him and we pray that he would be able to find peace with himself,” the older sister added.
According to the autopsy report, Henry died as a result of hypovolemic shock after receiving two stab wounds to his chest and lower abdomen.
Evidence presented to the court, was that Henry’s death stemmed from an argument with the now convicted man over family land, which started while they were having alcoholic drinks at a popular bar in the Town of Grenville, St. Andrew.
Residents in the area who spoke with this newspaper following the fatal incident did not express shock at the turn of events, Alexander had been involved in a series of land disputes with a number of residents of the area in the past.
In an interview with reporters after the guilty verdict was handed down, Defense Attorney, Anselm Clouden, who failed in his multi-faceted attempt to convince the jurors that Henry’s death was either by “accident, manslaughter as a result of provocation, or an act of self-defense on the part of the now convicted man, was quick to point out that the “evidence was clear that the deceased (had) attacked the now convicted man…”.
According to Clouden, his client responded to the attack on him and “he pulled the knife he had in his pocket after peeling fruits…and our case was that the deceased ran into the knife”.
“We have certain concerns; we accept the verdict because the jurist system is an integral part of our Justice system (but) we are somewhat disappointed with the verdict”, he said.
“We felt that if not an acquittal, we would have expected manslaughter but the jury, as judges of the facts returned a verdict of guilty for murder and we accept this,” he added.
However, the long-standing defense attorney indicated that he intends to take “certain steps after due consideration of the case…when we consider our options…we are now going to phase two, which is sentencing so we cannot really antagonise anybody…and we will see how phase two goes and then we would reconsider our positions”.
“There are three tiers of the court, you have the court of first instance, the court of appeal, and then for the time being still the Privy Council. So, it depends on how things pan out”, Clouden remarked.