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Jeremiah Bacchus, centre, is escorted to prison on Friday, March 15, 2024 to serve his sentence.
Jeremiah Bacchus, centre, is escorted to prison on Friday, March 15, 2024 to serve his sentence.
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New Grounds resident Jeremiah “Oye Yo Yow” Bacchus, 41, who killed his friend Jeremiah “ET” Daniel, 44, by stabbing him in the chest with a pair of scissors during an argument over “access to a female” after a birthday party two years ago has been sentenced to a further 14 years in prison.

However, Bacchus, 41, will only spend a further 12 years and 25 days in prison as of last Friday, taking into account the time that he had spent on remand.

Since Bacchus pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the killing, he received a one-third discount on the 21-year prison sentence that the court had arrived at.

Justice Richard Floyd handed down the sentence on Friday at High Court No. 2, in Kingstown, stating:

“This was a very serious crime. A man was stabbed to death as a result of an argument following a birthday celebration. The gathering to mark another year in the life of one person was followed by the tragic end of another person’s life.” 

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Bacchus was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter and the Crown accepted the plea.

In his summary of the case, Justice Floyd said that Bacchus and Daniel were among several people who attended a birthday celebration at a commercial establishment in New Grounds on April 10, 2022.

A party atmosphere prevailed at the venue, where music was played and both Bacchus and Daniel consumed alcohol at the event.

At approximately 10:30 p.m., Bacchus, Daniel and others left and walked up the road and the group stopped near a gas station, where both men were seen standing in the roadway face to face and exchanging words.

Daniel was heard saying, “You want to do me something?” and “Do what you want” while raising his hands in the air.

Bacchus was then seen striking Daniel to the chest with his hand and then running from the scene.

Daniel then moved towards his friends, holding his chest and saying, ‘Look, the man killed me!’ He staggered forward and fell to the ground, blood coming from his chest.

Daniel’s friend attended to him and flagged down a passing vehicle that transported him to the Georgetown hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Bacchus was arrested at his home on April 11, 2022. Police took him to the scene and he pointed out to them a small silver and black pair of scissors close by, saying he had used it to stab Daniel and the handle broke in the process.

He gave a statement to police on April 12, 2022, admitting to stabbing Daniel and identifying the scissors as the weapon he had used.

He told officers that Daniel had poked him in the eye, but he was unhurt, and Daniel had put his hand in his (Daniel’s) pocket before he stabbed him.

A post mortem examination found that Daniel had two wounds – a one-centimetre wound to the chest that had tracked through the first left rib and into his heart; and a laceration on the right eye.

The cause of death was listed as a stab wound to the chest.

The judge cited the social inquiry report that had been prepared, noting that Bacchus said in it that on the day of the incident, he and Daniel argued about Daniel’s access to a female who was part of their group that evening.

Defendant’s account bears ‘no resemblance’ to what witnesses described

Bacchus said in the report that he was carrying the scissors, which he normally uses to cut up marijuana because he “smokes a lot”.

The defendant stated that during the argument, Daniel assaulted him, putting his hands into Bacchus’ face.

Bacchus said that in an attempt to defend himself, he raised his hands while holding the scissors and Daniel stumbled forward and fell onto the scissors.

He said he then ran home and went to bed and was later awakened by the police.

Bacchus said he had no intention to kill Daniel, and, according to the social inquiry report, inferred that had Daniel not provoked him, his death would not have occurred as there was no attack since Daniel simply fell onto the scissors.

The report quoted Bacchus as saying that he was “sad” that Daniel had died.

However, Justice Floyd noted that the Bacchus’ version of the event as described in the social inquiry report “bears no resemblance to what was observed by eyewitnesses who gave statements to police nor does it compare to the statement given by the defendant to police two days after the incident”.

The judge said that to allege that Daniel suffered a stab injury consisting of a piercing of the chest wall, a rib and the heart by falling forward onto scissors held by Bacchus “beggars belief.

“The court does not accept that version of events, it simply has no air of reality, when compared to all of the evidence.”

The judge said that the court was not satisfied that Daniel’s behaviour as described in the statements of the witnesses reached a level of provocation, which would have caused Bacchus to forcefully stab Daniel in the manner that he did, particularly when Daniel’s arms were upraised.

The judge said that while the court accepts Daniel’s assertion that he has feelings of sadness at the death of Daniel, taken in the context of Bacchus’s version of events as contained in the social inquiry report, it did not rise to a level of genuine remorse.

In handing down his sentence, the judge noted that the consequence of manslaughter is always the death of the victim.

In considering the seriousness of the offence by assessing the culpability of the offender, he noted that Bacchus stabbed Daniel in the chest.

“This death was therefore caused in the course of an unlawful act, which carried a higher risk of death or really serious harm, which was or ought to have been obvious to the defendant.”

The judge said that the appropriate category of the crime was, therefore, level B high and therefore established a starting point of 18 years in prison.

He then considered the aggravating and mitigating feature, noting that the offence involved the use of a weapon — scissors.

The judge therefore increased the sentence by two years to 20 years.

Justice Floyd pointed out that there was no premeditation evident in committing the unlawful act, noting that while a disagreement in the street escalated, there was no planning involved

He, therefore, reduced the sentence by half a year to 19.5 years.

As regards the offender, the court noted that he had previous relevant convictions for crimes of violence.

This increased the sentence by two years to 21.5 years.

The judge, however, considered as mitigating the assistance that Bacchus gave to the authorities, including providing an inculpatory statement under caution.

Additionally, he showed the police where he had thrown the weapon.

“There were, however, eyewitnesses to the incident, and this tempers the value of the assistance provided,” the judge said.

Justice Floyd, therefore, reduced the sentence by half a year to 21 years before applying one-third credit for the guilty plea, taking the sentence to 14 years.

The court then subtracted the one year 11 months and five days that Bacchus had spent on remand to arrive at the final sentence.

Carl Williams represented Bacchus while Crown Counsel Maria Jackson-Richards appeared for the Crown.