A 32-year-old Point Fortin man was yesterday sentenced to death for the murder of a fellow prisoner at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. A 12-member jury took more than four hours to return with a guilty verdict for Jay Chandler before Justice Mark Mohammed, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Second Assizes. When the sentence was read shortly after 6 pm, a close female relative lunged towards Chandler, while he was being led out of the prisoner's dock. The woman was then restrained and removed by female police officers. Chandler was accused of stabbing Kern Phillip with a improvised weapon on October 8, 2004.
The incident occurred after an altercation between the men during visiting hours at the Remand Yard Prison, Golden Groove, Arouca. Phillip later succumbed to injuries while being treated at the prison's infirmary. Post-mortem results showed that his heart was punctured. Both men were incarcerated at the prison while awaiting trial.
Chandler was ordered to be retried after his initial trial before Justice Rajendra Narine in 2009 ended with a hung jury. Bad character evidence concerning another stabbing incident involving Chandler while he was in prison was also accepted into evidence during the ten-week retrial before Mohammed. Chandler was represented by attorneys Larry Williams and Nicholas Ali, while the State was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo and attorney Lee Merry.