A 40-year-old woman was, on Friday, ordered to spend a further three years in jail for killing a man on Dec. 12, 2016 during an argument over crack cocaine.

Ava Charles, who has been addicted to the drug since she was 22, stabbedJasmond “Crab” Huskinson, a 62-year-old former teacher in the chest with a knife on Dec. 12, 2016, resulting in his death.

She used the weapon on Huskinson after failing to get him to release his chokehold on her friend, Lenisha Charles, according to the facts Crown counselKarim Nelson presented to the court.

The wounded Huskinson was taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he died.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Charles was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty, on Dec. 3, 2018, to manslaughter, a lesser charge.

The three-year jail term will bring to five years, the total length of her sentence, as Charles has been on remand since being charged.

Nelson told the court that Charles, and Lenisha, both crack cocaine users, were friends and lived together in the same building in Rose Place, Kingstown.

Huskinson, also a crack cocaine addict, occupied a room in the building where the two women lived.

The court heard that on Dec. 12, 2016, Huskinson and Lenisha got into an argument because she refused to share her drugs with him.

About 7 p.m. that day, Lenisha and Ava were in Lenisha’s room smoking crack cocaine together when Huskinson went to the room and began banging on the door.

Lenisha opened the door and she and Huskinson began to argue.

Huskinson attacked Lenisha and a scuffle ensued. As a result of the scuffle, the two moved from the door of Lenisha’s room to the balcony.

Huskinson held Lenisha by the throat and Ava tried unsuccessfully to get him to release Lenisha.

Ava then left and returned with a knife, which she used to stab Huskinson in the chest.

He was taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Police arrested Ava on Dec. 14, 2016 and charged her with murder.

In mitigation, counsel Patina Knights noted that her client had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and asked that the full one-third discount for this be applied.

Charles a mother of three children, ages 4 to 28, had been living inLowmans Hill, where she was a farmer, but ended up on the street after her house was destroyed by fire.

She then moved into the tenement building in Rose Place, the lawyer said.

Knights noted that her client was acting in defence of another but did not trouble a court with a trial.

“It can certainly be said that Lenisha Charles is alive today as a result of the prisoner at the bar’s action,” Knights said.

The lawyer further asked the court to note that it was Huskinson who had gone to the room occupied by Lenisha.

She said that the mitigating factors are that Charles had pleaded guilty and had expressed remorse.

The lawyer said there was not a significant level of violence as Huskinson died of a single stab wound.

She further noted the particular circumstances surrounding the incident, pointing out to the court that Charles had made attempts to get Lenisha away from Huskinson before taking the course of action that led to Huskinson’sdeath.

“And also, at the time of the incident, she was under the influence of not only crack cocaine but also alcohol,” Knights said.

She said her client is not minded toward criminal conduct and has indicated willingness to undergo counselling.

Knights told the court that her client used to attend the Seventh-day Adventist Church and has been baptized since being in custody.

“She has indicated a willingness to turn her life around and wants to be a productive member of society. She has indicated to me that if released, she would like to get a job and uplift herself and be an example to her daughter.” 

The lawyer said that the matron of the prisons has indicated that counselling will be beneficial to Charles, who has indicated that she does not want to do drugs any longer.

The lawyer also pointed out that her client had spent just short of 24 months in custody

In pronouncing sentence, Justice Brian Cottle said that with matters of this nature, the court starts with a notional sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

He, however, said that he also considered the fact that Charles had acted, at some level, in the defence of another, that there was a single wound, and that her judgement had been impaired by alcohol and cocaine at the time.

Justice Cottle said that in light of those facts, he would depart downward from that starting point, noting that her guilty plea would attract a further one-third discount.

The judge noted that the woman has spent two years on remand, adding that when the other mitigating factors are considered, her final sentence would be three years imprisonment.

The judge urged the woman to take the time to reflect on her life and to get the help that she needs to kick her drug habit.

He said it is important that the court send a message to deter others from similar actions.

One reply on “Woman jailed for killing ‘Crab’ over cocaine”

  1. THIS WORLD’S ‘JUSTICE’:

    IT is highly unlikely to forlornly hope that this slight slap on the wrist would deter others from similar murderous actions. No wonder the level of criminality and numeracy of homicides in SVG. Let us still hold our native hopes for the better, nevertheless.

    Yes, I believe I have seen the lucky convict around over several years.
    However, I was closely familiar with “Josmond” Charles, formally known as Jasmon Huskinson, alias “Crab”. I think the earlier guys had yet another nickname for him. In my early teaching career, just out of high school, Jasmon (a Pupil Teacher, Grade 2, at the Lowmans Windward Anglican School) quickly befriended me. That was crucially kind to me, as I was an uncouth, poor, unkempt, country-bookie who was near totally unfamiliar with the area. He proved a very loyal friend.
    Later on, though, following the loss of his Grade teacher job and migration to the City of Kingstown, Jasmon apparently resorted to the speedy, quick and easy lifestyle. He often would protest that people were judging him wrongly, and that he was actively cleaning up his lifestyle.
    Coming from my Table Tennis coaching at the Old Grammar School Hall one day, I encountered Jasmon is a “prison gang” cutting the grass just outside the area next to the SVG 705 Radio grounds. He shouted to me, and indicated that he had obtained the official permission of his Prison Guard to speak to me. I think at that occasion he asked that I procure some batteries for his radio to help him usefully while away some of his prison time. I dutifully obtained these and soon after presented them at the door of the prison to the officers there.
    Not much longer after that, I again met up on Jasmon – – – now happily out and running striving to live a more useful life. I believe Lenisha was his lady friend then, to whom he introduced me – – – probably by way of assuring me that he had made a useful turn in his life – – – finally.
    My police friends, especially those in CID and Special Branch would recount to me many of Jasmon’s escapades, and even those that unique “method” of his that gained him that ‘later’ nickname of “Crab”. I wasn’t convinced that he hadn’t had that ‘name’ much earlier in our acquaintance. Still later, Jasmon, and some ex-police sources indicated to me that he was a stolid vigilante, often assisting the police unofficially in some of their projects. My friend was living a perhaps scintillating, but surely dangerous life. Of course, he was over-confident and would not be dissuaded from his strategy. I could only pray for Mr. Charles [Huskinson] and hope for the best. I could only depend on his noting my personal example. We remained friends and greeted warmly whenever we met.
    I could now recall the numerous times in Lowman’s when he tried to intimate to me that his real name [“Huskinson”; not generally know then, as he was using “Charles” in those Lowmans teaching days], was closely related to mine. Again, I smile to myself whenever I recall the time when he tried to introduce me and and assist me in making the acquaintance of a young lady who was his class-mate at the Georgetown Pupil Teachers’ Centre – – – they standing then just in-front of the Georgetown Methodist Church. (The lady ended up in my family nevertheless; though I wasn’t the lucky one). He felt, correctly, that I was still too uninitiated.
    So, when I saw that tragic story of his murder in the news media, you can guess my horror and sadness. I mourned for my former teaching colleague and warm friend – – – and still do. However, despite the extremely light sentence, I do hope and PRAY that our Vincentian people, especially the very young ones, would take note of a fabulously promising life that went down-hill following academic and employment setbacks that tragically resulted in reported drug addiction, criminality, and murder. So much good and excellence could otherwise have been accomplished by this warm, talented, brilliance young Vincentian.
    Maybe he got “the bad breaks”.
    BUT, every man in the maker of his own destiny.
    Make wise choices, my friends. SAY NO TO DRUGS, HEROIN, COCAINE, CRACK, AND . . . MARIJUANA – – – including so-called HIGHLY MISUNDERSTOOD AND MIS-REPRESENTED “Medical Marijuana.”

    Eschew DRUGS, WEAPONS, GUNS, VIOLENCE AND Mary Jane.

    REJECT THE “WUTLISS”, CORRUPT AND DEGENERATE POLITICIANS.

    And, spare a thought for my still dearly beloved friend and pedagogic colleague Josmon Charles, aka Jasmon Huskinson – – – and the tragic lessons to be learned from his shortened life.
    Take warning, YOU better DO Good.
    Always in National Development
    Steve Huggins
    Teacher/Coach/Youth Development Worker.

Comments are closed.