Fyzabad man pleads guilty to manslaughter

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

A Fyzabad man has been sentenced for fatally stabbing his late grandmother’s companion after a dispute over the home he inherited after her death.

Justice Sherene Murray-Bailey sentenced Jason “Gillo” Wilson on May 28.

Wilson, 40, was before the court charged with the murder of Cosmos “Papa” Hypolite on July 31, 2014.

However, he entered a plea deal agreement with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions which was accepted in March, allowing him to plead guilty to manslaughter based on provocation.

Murray-Bailey agreed to a 20-year starting point from which several downward adjustments were made because of his good record in prison and because he enrolled in the San Fernando fast-track case list so he could plead guilty at the earliest possible occasion.

He also received his one-third discount for his guilty plea and the nine years, nine months and 21 days he has spent on remand were discounted, leaving him with one year, six months and seven days left to serve.

According to the agreed facts in the case, Wilson and Hypolite were seen talking in the yard where the former lived at Butler Avenue Extension, Fyzabad. Hypolite held a cutlass and told Wilson he “had to come out the house today.”

Wilson responded, “Papa, boy, yuh come back with this wicked-man vibes.”

In describing the relationship between the two, witnesses said Hypolite blocked off the toilet area of the house for five years and left Wilson in one room with no bathroom. There was victimisation during that period, the agreed facts said.

One witness said whenever Wilson came home from work, Hyplite would turn off the electrical breaker and threaten Wilson with a cutlass in the wee hours of the morning.

Hypolite would cut the fence and enter the yard if the gate were locked, sprinkling something on the stairs.

A relative said Wilson would complain that Hypolite was harassing him. Another witness said after the chopping, Wilson exclaimed out loud that he “did not mean to chop the man.”

Wilson also called a friend and told him he did “something bad and was running hot.” He told police Hypolite had attacked him and he defended himself.

He also received a cut to his hand during the altercation.

Hypolite’s car was found nearby with a burnt piece of cloth stuck in the gas tank.

In a plea for mitigation, his attorney, Ayanna Norville, of the Public Defenders’ Department (PDD), said Wilson was at home in the house his grandmother left for him and his aunt when he heard knocking on the door.

She said Hypolite rushed into the room and demanded Wilson leave the house.

Wilson told him he was not going anywhere and during a scramble, he lost his self-control and chopped Hypolite.

She also said it was clear from the witnesses’ statements Hypolite provoked and victimised Wilson for several years after his grandmother died.

Norville also said Wilson was remorseful and had written to Hypolite’s family expressing his contrition.

Also appearing for Wilson was Darryl Douglas, also of the PDD. Josanne Forrester and Jade Charles represented the State.