Haitian man found guilty of murder jailed for 14 years

MARIGOT–The Court of Guadeloupe has condemned Diedus Metellus (61) to fourteen years in prison for the murder of Faustin Defrance (40) in front of the Red Star supermarket in Sandy Ground on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at around 7:30pm, Vice-Prosecutor Yves Paillard disclosed.

Metellus, a resident of St. Martin, had been in provisional detention since 2014. Paillard was in court in Guadeloupe and described the facts of the case in a press release.

It seemed that a rivalry existed between the two men to help the supermarket owner close the business. The video surveillance camera captured Metellus at first talking calmly with Defrance, but then suddenly producing a knife from his pocket which he plunged into the abdomen of Defrance who fell to the ground, recovered and then collapsed again.

Defrance died on the way to hospital. The court heard that the blade of the knife entered a distance of 17 cm, cutting the liver in two and severing an artery causing a massive haemorrhage. The bloody knife covered with the victim’s blood was recovered by a witness who himself was injured trying to disarm Metellus who was gesticulating wildly in the street with the knife in his hand and shouting incoherently. He was arrested two hours later.

A small folding knife was also found in the pocket of the victim. An expert psychiatrist estimated that Metellus was responsible for his act as there was no evidence of mental issues.

Metellus was found to have a blood alcohol content of 2.46 grams per litre of blood, plus cocaine. He had been consuming crack cocaine since 1979 and drank alcohol every day, but was never charged for either alcohol or drug offences. He had been out of work for four years and wanted to be a security guard at the Chinese supermarket where Defrance was already working.

The victim had neither alcohol nor drugs in his system and was not known for violence. He lived with his mother, did odd jobs due to two brain trauma injuries sustained in accidents on the road that left his capabilities diminished.

The defendant, speaking in Creole, denied having an alcohol problem and stuck to his version of what happened, namely that he was defending himself from a potential threat. Presented with the video surveillance footage, Metellus insisted that he was not the one who stabbed Defrance despite the stabbing being witnessed by two other people. He later admitted he was the one, confirmed by the T shirt he was wearing that day with a number five on the back.

The lawyer for the civil parties asked for the trauma of the victim’s family to be taken into account for a murder he considered to be obvious and premeditated.

The Prosecution concluded that homicidal intent was characterised by the force of the stabbing to the abdomen, not to mention the precise location of the stab wound, without any justification (no threat, no provocation on the part of the victim), and it was clear that such a violent act could easily cause death. Fifteen years of incarceration was requested in addition to expulsion from the territory for 10 years.

The lawyer defending Metellus attempted to convince the court that his client had not intended to kill Defrance but only to “hurt” him.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/64982-haitian-man-found-guilty-of-murder-jailed-for-14-years