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Second son sentenced to hang
It was a bittersweet victory for the Vincent family yesterday when a father and son were freed of a murder charge, while another son was sentenced to death. Emmanuel Vincent, 66, and his son Sylvester, 45, broke down in tears when a San Fernando judge freed them of a 2005 murder, but sentenced Sterlin Vincent to hang.
All three were before Justice Geoffery Henderson and a 12-member jury in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court, jointly charged with stabbing to death Clifton Alleyne at Lengua Village on February 1, 2005. As they walked out the Assizes yesterday, Emmanuel said, “As the father, I just feel halfway out and I feel halfway inside because of my son (Sterlin).”
Sylvestor said it was a victory, but, “I feel my brother should be going with me.” He said they were confident that they would all go home today because they were innocent. When they jury first returned after three hours of deliberation, they found Emmanuel not guilty, Sterlin guilty and were undecided on a verdict for Sylvester.
Justice Henderson sent them back to the jury room after they indicated that they would be able to arrive at a verdict for the third accused if given additional time. In the jury’s absence, the judge discharged Emmanuel. When the jury returned 45 minutes later with the not-guilty verdict in favour of Sylvester, the judge freed him. He then asked Sterlin if he had anything to say before sentence was passed on him.
Sterlin replied “no” and the judge read the death sentence to him. The State’s case, led by attorney Angelica Teelucksingh, was that the Vincents and Alleyne lived in the same village. Evidence was led that Sterlin would often beat Alleyne, and on that fateful day he attacked him with a knife at a neighbour’s house.
There was a subsequent fracas on the road involving Alleyne, his relatives, the Vincents and other villagers. The State’s case is that Sterlin ran down Alleyne and dealt him a stab to the back and he fell to the ground. The State’s case was that Sterlin was joined by his father and brother in the assault.
All three were charged by ASP Nazrool Hosein. Emmanuel and Sylvester were represented by attorney Rekha Ramjit and Neera Narine Ramdeen, while Sterlin was represented by attorney Nizam Mohammed and Petronilla Basdeo.
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