A confrontation over a woman in St. Paul’s which led to the February 28, 2017 death of 38-year old Paul Alexander, has resulted in one man being ordered to spend the next 8 years and 10 months of his life behind bars for Manslaughter.
Justice Paula Gilford handed down the sentence Monday at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s on 33-year-old Denroy Smith, who used a scissors to inflict a fatal stab to the left side of Alexander’s chest, in what was the first homicide in 2017.
Smith was initially charged with Non-Capital-Murder for the stabbing death of Alexander, a well known farmer in the St. Paul’s community but behind the scene negotiation between the defense and the state saw the charge relegated to manslaughter.
The accused was found guilty of the lesser charge by the jury at the end of his 8-day trial on April 20.
The stabbing incident occurred around 10.00 p.m. at a neighbourhood shop, in an area called “The Greens” in St. Paul’s, St. George.
There are reports that Smith was in the shop drinking rum when the accused confronted him.
At the time of the incident, the woman who shares a child with Smith was living with the deceased at his house in Mardigras.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the woman is presently living in Smith’s home.
In mitigating Smith’s defense, Attorney-at-law, Ashley Bernadine told the court that it was indeed a tragic and unfortunate incident and that the deceased was the author of his own demise.
Earlier on the fatal day, Smith had visited his son with the woman where she was staying with the deceased and the police were called in to solve a problem that had developed.
During the trial, the court was told that Smith was later approached in the neighborhood shop by Alexander who wanted to speak with him about “disrespecting his place.”
According to the evidence presented to the court, while speaking to the convicted man, the deceased was reportedly “juking him (Smith) with his fingers and went on to slap him in the face and pushed him down to the ground”.
The two men engaged in a scuffle and Alexander continued to make attempts to slap Smith in the face.
The convicted man, who previously worked as a landscaper/handy man, admitted to retrieving a scissors from his pocket to deliver the fatal stab to Alexander.
However, Smith said it was not his intention to kill anyone but it was done in an effort to prevent Alexander from attacking him.
In handing down the sentence, the court held the view that the deceased was indeed the aggressor in the incident, as he actively pursued Smith who based on the evidence attempted to walk away from the confrontation.
Justice Gilford rewarded the accused with a 14-month discount for the time spent on remand and ordered him to continue anger management counseling while incarcerated or a face a default sentence of 2 years imprisonment.
Smith, who has 6 prior convictions between 2007 and 2015, was also ordered not to be in possession of any sharp instrument in public or face an additional default sentence of 2 years behind bars.