By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN diagnosed with schizophrenia pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility yesterday in the Supreme Court concerning the fatal stabbing of his five-year-old brother.
Wenzell Knowles, of Strachan’s Alley, appeared before Justice Indra Charles as he was scheduled to stand trial this week on a murder charge concerning the December 20, 2012, death of Dequan Clarke.
On the evening in question, the child was found in a bedroom wrapped in a sheet with a stab wound in his chest. His throat was slit. The 23-year-old was arraigned four days later in Magistrate’s Court where he was not allowed to enter a plea to the charge at the time.
Knowles pleaded not guilty to murder when formally arraigned in the Supreme Court in January 2014 and maintained that plea when the charge was read to him in yesterday’s proceedings. However, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility instead.
After undergoing psychiatric evaluation by the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, physicians determined that he not only suffered from marijuana abuse, but that he was also a schizophrenic.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts, resulting in the difficulty of distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary. It may also leave the individual unresponsive or withdrawn and affected individuals may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.
Knowles had explained his actions, suggesting he was making “a sacrifice like Abraham had to sacrifice his son.”
Justice Charles adjourned sentencing to December 11 for his probation officer to be heard as well as the mother of the convict and the deceased victim.
Knowles is represented by Jiaram Mangra while Terry Archer represents the Crown.