January 26, 2018 is the date set for the sentencing of 24-year-old Sanko, Boca resident, Phillip Baptiste, who has been convicted of Non-Capital Murder for causing the death of his uncle, 55-year-old Glen “Brass” Baptiste on March 19, 2017.
Baptiste also known as “Lion,” pleaded not guilty to the charge in early November but on November 21 was convicted by a 9-member jury.
This brought an end to his trial after approximately 6 days of deliberations at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s, before Guyanese-born Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford.
The Prosecution, which was led by Senior Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Howard Pinnock, called a total of 7 witnesses to give evidence against Baptiste, who was represented by Attorney-at-law, George Prime, who called 2 witnesses on his behalf.
The evidence revealed that on March 19, both Phillip and his now deceased uncle were hanging out at a shop in the small village of Sanko, when the murder convict is said to have boxed his uncle about 3 to 4 times before hitting him again in the face with a Campari bottle, causing him to fall and hit the back of his head on the last treader of a step.
Brass was pronounced dead at about 8:30 pm that same evening.
The autopsy report showed that he died as a result of cerebral contusion after suffering 2 injuries; the nasal septum was broken and there was an injury in the occipital region of the head.
The pathologist opined that the two blows had caused a movement of the brain within the skull that led to injury of the brain and internal bleeding.
The defence alleged the incident was an accident, provocation and was done in self-defence.
However, the jury after deliberating on the evidence in the matter for approximately 3 hours, emerged from the jury room with their unanimous verdict of guilty to Non-Capital Murder.
THE NEW TODAY had visited the small village after the killing and one resident described “Brass” as a very helpful person, one that villagers, who did basket making, will turn towards to go into the mountain and bring down bamboo for them to ply their trade.
Baptiste was described by his own father as being problematic due to constant smoking of ganja and heavy alcohol drinking.
Saddened that his son would go to the extent of killing his own uncle, the father of the now convicted man had told THE NEW TODAY that he did not know what exactly caused the altercation between the two but if he was around the incident would not have happened.
Baptiste who faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, now awaits his fate, which will be determined next month by Justice Gilford, who is known for handing down very stiff sentences especially in murder cases.