December 7 is the date set for the sentencing of 27-year old Akim Frank who pleaded guilty last week to Manslaughter for the 2015 death of Canadian national, Dr. Linnea Veinotte, who was attached to St. George’s University.
Frank, a resident of Jean Anglais, St. George’s, was initially charged with non-capital murder but struck a deal with State Prosecutors for a lesser sentence.
The matter came up last week Thursday at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s, before Guyanese-born High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford.
Frank who was represented in court by criminal defense Attorney Peter David, entered his plea on Manslaughter after accepting an offer put forward by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
The accused has been held on remand at the Richmond Hill Prison, since turning himself in to police six days after Veinotte’s husband reported her missing on December 6, 2015, after she never returned home from walking her dog in the vicinity of Lance Aux Epines, Grand Anse.
The now convicted man, who faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, reportedly struck the deceased with a borrowed SUV in an area known as Coral Crescent.
He admitted to police investigators that he ditched her body in bushes somewhere in the vicinity of the Golf Course in Grand Anse, where it was discovered six days later, partly decomposed.
The 26-year old suspect later told police investigators that he went into Lance Aux Epines to drop-off someone and was driving the vehicle with speed since he was late in bringing it back to the owner.
Frank reportedly said that after running into the woman and the dog, he stopped and decided to pick up Linnea, who fell to the ground in an attempt to carry her to the St. George’s General hospital for medical treatment.
He put the injured lady into the back of the vehicle and took the route leading into Grand Anse Valley to get into the city.
The accused said that while driving the vehicle he noticed that it started to wobble and when he stopped he realised that he had a flat tyre.
He took the vehicle into an area along the road to change the tyre and when he saw a man and an animal he decided to drive off.
He also said that he stopped somewhere else along the route to change the tyre and when he looked back at the woman, he felt that she was dead and became real scared.
The accused said he decided to drive the vehicle to Golf Course to dump off the body.
The cause of Veinotte’s death was described as blunt force trauma to the chest and lower limb due to a vehicular accident.
Her body had decomposed to the point that pathologists could not say how long she survived after being hit or whether she died instantly.
Veinotte, the holder of a doctorate in genetics from the University of British Columbia, had taken up residency on island to teach at SGU.
Her husband, Matt who had alerted the police that she was missing, sat quietly in court during last week Friday’s proceedings in which Frank entered into a manslaughter plea deal.
Matt declined an offer from the local press to speak on the outcome of the case.