A WOMAN charged with the murder of an elderly man has changed her plea to guilty to manslaughter and will now await sentencing instead of a trial.
Sheba Charles, who had denied her murder charge, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a request was made for her charge to be re-read.
Charles of Union Island and Vermont will now be sentenced on July 17, at the High Court #2, after the prosecution accepted her plea of guilty of manslaughter.
Counsel Rose Ann Richardson, who is leading the case for the crown, accepted the defendant’s plea on May 12.
Charles’s was on trial on a charge that on November 26, 2020 with malice aforethought she caused the death of 83 year old Ulric Hutchinson of Union Island by an unlawful act.
However, after consultations with her new lawyer, Jomo Thomas a request was made for the charge to be read back to her, where she still denied murder but made it known that she was guilty to manslaughter.
Charles had been charged that on November 26, 2020 with malice aforethought she caused the death of 83-year-old Ulric Hutchinson of Union Island by an unlawful act.
However, after consultations with her new lawyer, Jomo Thomas, a request was made for the charge to be read back to her, after which she still denied committing murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Charles had earlier been represented by lawyer Michael Wyllie, who indicated on the first day of the trial that the case was one of clear “self defence.” As a result, he did not agree that Charles should change her plea.
Additionally, prior to the commencement of the trial, the crown had offered to accept a plea of manslaughter from the defendant, however, Wyllie did not inform Charles of this offer.
Charles apparently only learnt about the offer from the prosecution after the start of the trial.
The defendant’s murder trial started on April 26, where a 12 member jury was empanelled and evidence was taken.
Justice Rickie Burnett on May 12, adjourned the matter to May 15, where he invited back the members of the jury to deliver a formal verdict to manslaughter.
The judge ordered that a social inquiry report for Charles be filed to the High Court on or before June 15, 2023.
The defence will make sentencing submissions and plea mitigation on June 29, while the prosecution will make their submissions on July 6.
Charles is expected to be sentenced on July 17.
Indications are that Hutchinson died as a result of strangulation after an altercation with Charles; his death was the 29th homicide for 2020.