By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A Supreme Court jury yesterday convicted a 24-year-old man for beating a 64-year-old man to death with a conch shell three years ago.
The jury found Ashley Hield guilty of manslaughter by a vote of 10-2 for striking John Frazier multiple times to the head with the conch shell on August 24, 2015.
Hield will receive his sentence from acting Justice Andrew Forbes on November 19.
During trial, the Crown’s key witness Ronald Scott said he saw Hield from a distance of about 25-feet exchange words with Frazier, bash him with a conch shell multiple times in his head and then pursue him up a street shortly after two bystanders stepped in to separate them.
Mr Scott, who said he travelled to Strachan’s Corner on the date in question to pick up a tool from his brother who lived in the area, said their conversation was cut short by a loud argument between two men standing a few feet up the street.
The witness said as the argument between the two men intensified, the two men moved closer and closer to the area where he and his brother were standing.
He said once the men got to a distance of about five feet away from his brother’s property, Hield violently struck Frazier with an item which he later identified as a conch shell.
Mr Scott testified he was so taken aback by what he saw, he was unable to process it right away. He said by the time he was fully aware of what transpired, two other bystanders had rushed over to Frazier’s defence.
However, he told the court that by the time the two bystanders intervened, Hield was basically atop the older man who was “on the ground on his back”.
Mr Scott said he saw Hield strike Frazier multiple times. “I was too shocked to count,” he added.
Mr Scott said once the men were separated and Frazier was on his feet, he immediately attempted to flee. However, according to Mr Scott, Hield pursued him.
When asked to describe Frazier’s condition at the time, Mr Scott told the court his face was so covered in blood, he could barely make out his complexion. He said he found out a few days later that Frazier had died from his injuries.
Attorney David Cash represented Hield. Darnell Dorsett represented the Crown in the matter.