After deliberating for three and a half hours yesterday, a jury convicted 25-year-old waiter and carpenter Sheldon Pusey of manslaughter arising from the fatal stabbing and chopping of 64-year-old Ambassador Peter King.
Senior Puisne Judge Marva McIntosh has ordered a social enquiry report on Pusey and put off sentencing to April 1. Pusey showed no sign of emotion when he heard the verdict.
The foreman of the 12-member jury, in handing down the verdict, said the jury was unanimous that Pusey was not guilty of murder. He said in respect of manslaughter, the jury was divided 10-2.
Suppression of evidence
Defence lawyer Berry Bryan said Pusey would appeal his conviction because there was alleged suppression of evidence.
Pusey, of Hopewell district, near Gordon Town, St Andrew, has been in custody since he was arrested in March 2007.
He was charged with murder, but the jury found him not guilty of murder. He was found guilty of manslaughter, the lesser offence.
The judge, in her summation, had told the jury that the three possible verdicts for them to consider were not guilty, guilty of murder or guilty of manslaughter.
The trial began on January 19 in the Home Circuit Court. The Crown called 18 witnesses to testify and alleged that on March 19 or 20, 2006, Pusey murdered King at his home at 11A Waterloo Road, St Andrew.
The body had 30 wounds, including four defensive wounds to the hands. Dr Ere Seshaiah, who performed the post-mortem, testified that there were also four stab wounds to the chest and four chop wounds to the neck. He said any of those injuries could have caused death. He said the other injuries were incisions.
There was no eyewitness to the murder and the Crown, which was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Caroline Hay and Crown Counsel Dahlia Findlay, relied on circumstantial evidence to prove its case.
Pusey said in his defence that a man called Rupert sent him to King about a job. He said while he was at the deceased’s house on March 19, 2006, King forcefully sought to be intimate with him. Pusey said he took a knife from a cup on a bedside table and stabbed King.