A man charged with murder in 2017 was yesterday sentenced to one day in prison for causing harm to the decedent.
Fredrico Bethel, 29, of Emmanuel Drive, received the sentence and reduced charge as part of a plea deal.
Bethel, otherwise known as Faraway, was on trial before Senior Justice Vera Watkins for the May 2017 murder of Simon Emmanuel Paul. However, he pleaded guilty to causing harm to Paul based on the plea agreement.
As Bethel was already in the jury’s charge, Watkins directed them to acquit Bethel of murder and convict him of causing harm.
The guilty plea to the causing harm charge was based on the same facts as the murder, according to Bethel’s lawyer, Lennox Coleby. He said that prosecutors had failed to establish that the head injury inflicted by Bethel had caused Paul’s death.
Prosecutor Janet Munnings told the court that on May 14 Paul was at a bar on Soldier Road when Bethel told him to “come out his yard” before he struck him in the head with a 40-ounce vodka bottle.
Munnings said that Paul’s friends took him away to prevent another assault.
The following day, police were called to First Step Academy on Soldier Road where Paul was found bleeding from the head in a semiconscious state, Munnings said.
Bethel was arrested a day later, Munnings said.
Although the plea agreement had proposed a sentence of one year to run from August 1, 2018 to August 1, 2019, which would have resulted in time-served, Watkins said she had to sentence him “to at least one day in prison.”
Watkins said she considered the two years that Bethel had spent in custody in determining the sentence.