AFTER seven hours of deliberation a 12-member jury on August 16 found a Point Fortin man guilty of killing a fellow inmate seven years ago at the end of his re-trial.
Jay Chandler, 32, was read the death sentence by High Court Judge Mark Mohammed in the Port of Spain Second Criminal Court for murdering Kern Phillip.
As he was told that he would be hanged by the neck until dead, a female relative of Chandler began screaming and headed towards the prison docks where he was standing. She was stopped by a female officer and was escorted out of the courtroom.
The jury took their maximum three-hour deliberation time and did not come to a unanimous decision after they began deliberations at 11:14 a.m. When they were re-called the jury said if given more time they would arrive at a verdict and asked clarification on an issue. At 6:17 p.m. they returned with the guilty verdict. On April 2, 2009 High Court Judge Rajendra Narine ordered a re-trial after the jury was locked at nine to three.
During the three-month long trial, the State which was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kathy-Ann Waterman-Latchoo and Lee Merry, used evidence of bad character against Chandler. The State put in evidence that in 2009 Chandler stabbed inmate Hilbert Haynes in the neck while they were at the Maximum Security Prison.
Chandler was first tried in 2009 for stabbing 24-year-old Phillip once in the chest at the Remand Yard at Arouca. Chandler at the time was awaiting trial for kidnapping while Phillip was awaiting trial for possession of arms and ammunition, as well as shooting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Chandler was represented by defence attorneys Larry Williams and Nicholas Ali.