The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has reduced to manslaughter, the indictable non-capital murder charge brought by the State against Damion Francis, 27, of Mt. Horne in St. Andrew, for the March 2018 death of his elder half-brother Steve Jeffery, who was 31 years old at the time.
Francis was arraigned last week Friday before Madam Justice Paula Gilford at the St. George’s No.1 High Court, where both charges were read out to him.
The accused pleaded not guilty to committing the offence of non-capital murder but guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, which is also an indictable offence.
Francis now faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment on the manslaughter charge instead of the maximum life sentence he faced on the non-capital murder charge.
Justice Gilford set July 12 as the day of sentencing.
Attorney-at-law Naeisha John-Diarra is representing Francis, who reportedly used a kitchen knife to stab his brother in the abdomen following an altercation over a piece of clothing belonging to him, which he wanted to use to attend the annual “Good Friday sporting event” in the small village.
According to an informed source, Francis was unable to wear the clothing because his now deceased brother had used it and had to wear something else in its place.
The source said Francis was highly intoxicated when he returned home from the village sporting event that dreadful morning, where he met his now deceased brother asleep on the floor and proceeded to wake him up with an aggressive argument over the clothing.
As the argument ensued, the older brother slapped Francis in the face because he felt that he was being very disrespectful to their mother who was sleeping in another room.
The altercation ended up in the kitchen, where Francis reportedly drew a knife and fatally stabbed his older brother in the lower abdomen.
The older brother was taken to the Princess Alice Hospital at Mirabeau in St. Andrew where he was pronounced dead.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Steve is the second brother in that family to lose his life to violence.
In October 2011, their older brother Dellon Jeffery, who resided at La Digue in St. Andrew, died at the age of 27, after receiving a chop to his neck at the hands of Sherwin Shane Buckmire, who was 20-years-old at the time and is close to completing a 15-year sentence at the Richmond Hill Prison for the atrocious crime.