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Cleared Of Murder - But Jailed For Eight Years For Manslaughter

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN acquitted of murder but convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday.

Keith Paul Wood, of West End Avenue, stood trial in the Supreme Court in connection with the April 13, 2013 murder of Stephen Williams, who died in hospital after being stabbed during a reported argument with another man.

The 12-member jury returned a not guilty of murder verdict to Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs.

However, they unanimously believed the 55-year-old was guilty of manslaughter.

There was no delay in sentencing as Senior Justice Isaacs, taking into account the seriousness of the offences and the circumstances of the case, found that a term of eight years was sufficient punishment for the crime.

However, the sentence was reduced to six years and two months after Wood’s time on remand was taken into account.

During the trial, a friend of the deceased had testified that he and Williams had been drinking all night when Williams had asked Wood for a ride. Williams took issue with Wood’s refusal and a scuffle followed.

It was at that time he heard Williams complain of being “jooked”, a slang term for being stabbed.

The jury also heard from Inspector Alexander Pierre who said he arrested Wood and questioned him about the murder at 4.30am on the date in question.

Wood told police that he stabbed Williams in self-defence when the deceased tried to rob him.

Cordell Frazier and David Cox prosecuted the case while Terrel Butler defended Wood.

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