Murder accused expected to plead guilty on 'Sentence Reduction Day'

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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PHILLIP Brown, the man who admitted to killing his pregnant girlfriend while she was asleep last December at their Crystal Towers apartment in Kingston, is expected to take advantage of “Sentence Reduction Day” on October 19.

Brown was arrested and charged with the murder of 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson, who was reportedly beaten to death and her body found wrapped in a tarpaulin on December 10.

Prior to the decision yesterday, arguments to obtain a lesser charge of manslaughter presented by Brown's defence team were rejected by the prosecutor, who told the court that the Crown was “not minded to taking up a lesser charge”.

Junior defence counsel Leone Hines-Smith told the court that her client was provoked and was intoxicated at the time of the offence.

But the prosecution argued that Wilson was three months pregnant at the time of her demise, and that Brown admitted in his eight-page caution statement that he was asking her to return to the home they shared.

The prosecutor revealed that Wilson was no longer living at the premises, but went there to comb their child's hair and had fallen asleep when he used a hammer to crack her skull.

It was also revealed that before the killing Brown said: “Why are you doing this to me? I can't take this anymore. I can't live like this.”

According to Brown's statement, he saw a hammer on the balcony and said to himself, “No, Phillip.” He started to walk back and forth and said “No”.

Nonetheless, he took up the hammer and it slipped out of his hand, according to his statement.

The court was told that the post-mortem revealed that Wilson died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The prosecutor, who was apparently ready for trial, told the court that the doctor was unable to give evidence yesterday but could testify in October.

Nevertheless, senior counsel Anthony Williams told the court that the defence intends to take advantage of “Sentence Reduction Day” on October 19.

In May, the Supreme Court, as part of the Criminal Case Management Programme, introduced the initiative, which, according to a release from the Court Management Services, provides opportunities for accused individuals who wish to plead guilty to do so on specific days, when significant discounts in sentences would be granted.

Williams, while noting that he needed more time to have discussions with Brown, said the facility may be more beneficial than the nature he was contemplating.

In light of that, Williams requested a social inquiry report.

Justice David Fraser assured Williams that a short form can be done in advance. A social inquiry report takes approximately six weeks to be completed.

The judge, who was quick to point out that the date for the request was in July, said he will make the request for Brown.

The judge also endorsed a pending psychiatric evaluation that should have been done.

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