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Man guilty of manslaughter

JADA LOUTOO Friday, April 21 2017

LEON Matthews was just 16 when he was charged for the murder of Alonzo Pierre, 14, back in 2008. Now 24, Matthews will know his fate on May 12 when he will be sentenced by a High Court judge after he was found guilty yesterday of the lesser count of manslaughter by a 12-member jury.

Pierre was stabbed four times in the chest by Matthews at 7.35 am on May 15, 2008, along St Joseph Road, Arima. Alonzo was on his way to school at the time. Alonzo, a Form Four student of Barataria Senior Comprehensive School, died while being taken to the Arima Health Centre. At his trial, in the Port-of-Spain Second Criminal Court before Justice Carla Brown-Antoine, Matthew claimed he acted in self defence.

The jury rejected this defence but did find that provocation was an element in the killing. Pierre was walking along St Joseph Road in Arima with two friends. Pierre was on his way to get transport to go to school, when he saw a boy from another school, walked up to him and slapped him.

Pierre hit the boy because the boy had slapped his friend two weeks prior. Matthews then pulled out a knife and stabbed Pierre in the chest. As he slumped to the ground bleeding, Pierre’s friends raised an alarm and he was taken by passers-by to the health centre but died while en route.



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