The Preliminary Inquiry (PI) that was held into the death of former St. George’s businessman, Franklyn St. Paul came to an end last week Friday with Grand Anse Valley resident Michael Mc Queen, being committed to stand trial at the high court.
St. Paul died on December 30, 2017, two months after he was struck in the head by McQueen.
The PI lasted almost five months and on conclusion, defence attorney Jerry Edwin told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that his 53-year-old client was overcharged and is expecting to see a reduction in the charge when the matter comes up for hearing before the High Court.
The attorney met with Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Nelson, QC after the hearing to express his concern on the issue.
“The point we are making is that the case is overcharged and I believe that based on my discussion with the Director of Public Prosecution (DDP), we should shortly see a reduction in that charge from Murder to Manslaughter, given the period of time that Mr. St. Paul was struck and his eventual demise, which was a 2-month span under the circumstances,” he said.
DPP Nelson, QC led the PI, called a total of 7 witnesses to give evidence against Mc Queen, who allegedly assaulted St. Paul on his Greystones property at Belmont, St. George.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the 83-year-old businessman, who is a brother of retired High Court Judge, Justice Lyle St. Paul, had allegedly allowed Mc Queen, who was a Security Officer by profession to reside on his property.
St. Paul reportedly sustained blunt force trauma to his forehead and face after being struck by Mc Queen on October 17, 2017. He was admitted to the St. George’s General hospital, where he was treated and discharged.
However, he was readmitted to the hospital in December 2017, where he died days later as a result of “Subdural Hematoma” or a collection of blood outside of the brain, which is usually caused by severe head injuries.
St. Paul’s death led to a full-fledged investigation into the October 15 incident at Greystones, which resulted in Mc Queen, who was initially on bail for a wounding charge, being rearrested and slapped with an upgraded charge of Non-Capital Murder.
When Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill who presided over the PI at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court, asked the accused if he had anything to say before committing him to stand trial, Mc Queen said: “The only thing I have to say is that Mr. St. Paul was a nice man to me and I am just sorry for his death”.