Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius today sentenced manslayer Ricardo Jamal Stephenson to 15 years in jail for the stabbing death of Christopher Nedd.
However, Stephenson has just over nine years remaining to serve on the sentence having spent five years and ten months on remand at Her Majesty Prisons at Dodds.
Stephenson, of Denny’s Road, Thorpes, St James was originally charged with murdering the 28-year-old Nedd in Haynesville, St James on October 22, 2012. However, he had pleaded not guilty to the capital offence, but guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
According to the evidence, the deceased was stabbed multiple times about the body in the backyard of a housing unit in Haynesville around 11:15 p.m. following an altercation over a small sum of money. Nedd died on arrival at hospital.
In handing down the sentence Justice Cornelius pointed to the aggravating factors of the case. Among them was the fact that Stephenson was armed with an “intrinsically dangerous weapon” which was used to cause Nedd’s death.
Making reference to the autopsy report the judge said: “The injuries received . . . indicate a high degree of violence and force was used in the attack . . . . Though accepted by the prosecution that the deceased was the aggressor in the incident your response was excessive and disproportionate to the actions attributed to the deceased,” Justice Cornelius stated, as she went on to detail the mitigating factors including that there was no evidence of premeditation.
“The incident was spontaneous and the climax of a frivolous argument . . . . As accepted by the prosecution you were provoked as you felt threatened by the words and actions of the deceased,” she told Stephenson during today’s sentencing phase of the case which was prosecuted by Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Anthony Blackman. Defence attorney Rita Evans represented Stephenson who was 19-years-old at the time of the incident.