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Thread: Family, officials angry accused Norwich killer wasn't deported

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  1. #11
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Jury selection starts Monday in Jacques' trial

    Posted Mar. 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM
    Adam Benson

    Jury selection will begin Monday in New London Superior Court in the murder trial of Haitian national Jean Jacques, who is accused of killingly Casey Chadwick, of Norwich, in June. The trial is set to start on March 29. File Photo

    NORWICH — The murder case of a Haitian national whose immigration status has led to policy discussions in Washington is set to enter the courtroom.

    Nine months after his arrest in connection with the June 15 stabbing death of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick, Jean Jacques, 41, is preparing for a trial that could put him behind bars for 60 years, if convicted.

    Jury selection in the case begins Monday in New London Superior Court. Jacques’ attorney, Sebastian DeSantis, said given the high level of publicity surrounding his client, he may request a change of venue.
    The trial is set to start on March 29.

    He also said Jacques maintains his innocence in Chadwick’s death, which led him to reject a February plea bargain that would have sent him to prison for 45 years.

    “It’s something that he always said from the beginning, that he’s innocent of these charges and has no intention of pleading guilty to anything,” DeSantis said.

    DeSantis said his client remains in good health and is prepared for the trial. He wouldn’t say whether Jacques would testify on his behalf.

    “I’m just looking for a jury that can be fair and depending on how it goes, I may consider filing a change of venue if a lot of jurors have been impacted by the publicity,” he said. “He’s fine and in good physical and mental condition to go to trial.”

    DeSantis is awaiting a ruling from Superior Court Judge Barbara Riley Jungbloed on three motions he filed.

    He’s asked for the “jailhouse snitch” testimony of Tywan Jenkins, who shared a jail cell with Jacques for two weeks, to be dismissed, along with a statement Jacques gave to Norwich Police Det. Anthony Gomes on June 25.

    At a probable cause hearing, Jenkins said Jacques confessed to him that he killed Chadwick. But the motion claims Jenkins was working for police at the time, and Jacques should have been given the right to have a lawyer present during those discussions and in his interview with Gomes

    DeSantis alleges Jacques’ June 15 arrest on drug possession charges was a “ruse” in order to violate his parole and trigger a search of his apartment without seeking a warrant.

    “I’m going back over everything with my investigators and doing my own investigation,” DeSantis said.
    Parallel to the criminal proceedings against Jacques is a policy-driven discussion over America’s laws regarding illegal immigrants.

    Jacques, who spent 17 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder, remained in the country despite U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement having three opportunities to deport him since 2002.

    Wendy Hartling, Chadwick’s mother, has attended most of Jacques’ court appearances. Each time, she wears a customized sweatshirt with her daughter’s name on the back.

    Hartling has petitioned lawmakers for answers to why Jacques wasn’t deported in January 2015, when he was released from prison. But she said she’s putting politics aside because the trial is ready to begin.

    “The trial has to come first,” Hartling, 56, said.

    In July, The Bulletin reported that federal officials failed to deport Jacques at least three times stretching back to 2002. Since the newspaper’s reporting, lawmakers have pushed the federal Department of Homeland Security for answers and have met personally with ICE officials.

    On Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General added a review of ICE’s handling of Jacques’ immigration status as one of its 124 ongoing projects.

    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., met with ICE Director Sarah Saldana on Feb. 11, about two months after questioning her publicly about Jacques at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

    Blumenthal said he came away from the conversation “perplexed,” because she offered new information about the case even though he had demanded a full accounting months earlier.

    “My staff and I have held repeated meetings with ICE, and the story has changed as repeatedly as our meetings,” he said last month.

    In November, the delegation called on the Department of Homeland Security to investigate why Jacques was not deported to Haiti despite having an immigration detainer on his file.

    Hartling, who won’t be at court on Monday, said she’s focused on growing out her hair so she’ll resemble Chadwick by the time the jury delivers a verdict.

    “That’s the part of this trial I’m looking forward to is the end, when I can say something to him. I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” she said. “Basically what I want to say is, ‘look what you’ve done to this family.’”
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  2. #12
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Undocumented immigrant found guilty in Norwich woman’s murder


    NORWICH--Jean Jacques, an undocumented immigrant from Haiti, was found guilty in the murder of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick of Norwich. Chadwick was found stabbed to death in a closet in her apartment in June 2015.

    The nearly two-week trial ended with the jury handing down its guilty verdict on Monday. Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, said Jacques’ account of what happened remained inconsistent throughout the trial. Hartling added that Casey’s blood was found on Jacques' jeans and sneakers and that Jacques’ blood was in Casey’s apartment.

    Hartling said the verdict was bittersweet. “I was happy that they convicted him of murder, and I cried because I still don’t have my daughter,” said Hartling.

    Although Jacques has been found guilty, further questions remain. “We’ve got to find out why he wasn’t deported,” said Hartling. Federal authorities failed multiple times to deport Jacques, who also served 16 years for an unrelated attempted murder.

    In November 2015, Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked the Federal Office of the Inspector General to investigate how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement handled Jacques’ case. A spokesperson for Blumenthal told FOX 61 on Monday that there are no updates in the investigation.

    Hartling keeps in contact with other parents whose children have also been murdered by illegal immigrants. “Welcome to the club that nobody wants to belong to,” said Hartling, when describing the group. “They have to do something because it happens more than you know.”

    While Hartling continues to fight, she also tries to cope with her grief. “I just look at her pictures all the time,” said Hartling. “I miss her. And I talk to her, too. I talk to Casey all the time.”

    Hartling plans to speak during Jacques’ sentencing, which is scheduled for June 6.
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