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Convict Tried To Kill Himself By Drinking Bleach Mixture

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

ONE OF THREE men convicted for the 2011 home invasion and murder of a phone card vendor attempted suicide while on remand, a probation officer's report revealed.

Three officers from the Department of Rehabilitative Services gave testimony in court yesterday concerning their interviews with James Mombranche, 19; Rodney Johnson, 20; and Ricardo Brown, 23.

Camita Mackey, testifying in regard to Brown, told the court he drank a mixture of water and bleach in attempt to end his life before she conducted a second interview with him.

During the course of their meetings, she said, Brown denied knowing his co-accused and having any knowledge of the crime he was convicted for, the murder of 28-year-old Charles Chrysotome.

He and his co-accused were found guilty of breaking into Chrysotome's Domingo Heights apartment with the intent to rob him on February 28, 2011.

Mombranche, the youngest of the three, allegedly fired the fatal shot.

The three maintained their innocence throughout trial, but were unanimously convicted on February 23.

Yesterday, Ms Mackey told the court Brown did not express remorse for what happened and appeared to have been feeling the "pressure of being incarcerated, hence his attempt to commit suicide".

She told the court this "selfish act" by the former Gilbert Street resident caused the prison to put him on suicide watch.

When questioned by prosecutor Anthony Delaney, she admitted that the young man "is capable of being rehabilitated" if he only accepts responsibility for what happened and allows himself to move on with the "right guidance."

Defence attorney Calvin Seymour asked the officer what she meant by right guidance, and whether she thought Brown lacked such guidance during his upbringing.

She replied that right guidance meant receiving counselling and taking advantage of various vocational opportunities.

She further said that regardless of the circumstances persons must live under, the actions of an individual are the result of their choices.

Ms Mackey said she considered Brown's attempt on his own life irrational and made a recommendation for the young man to receive psychiatric help, though he had already sought help before she interviewed him.

Officers Lisa Bowleg and Christina Swain said the other convicts, Mombranche and Johnson, could be rehabilitated if they accepted responsibility for their actions.

Senior Justice Jon Isaacs adjourned the matter to Friday for sentencing, as he has other matters to deal with and the proceedings went on longer than expected.

The reports will be used by the judge in the determination of the appropriate sentence for the three young men.

Tomorrow at 2.30pm, attorneys Terrell Butler, Shaka Serville and Mr Seymour will make submissions to the judge regarding sentencing.

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