NEW LONDON — During the eighth day of testimony in a Norwich murder retrial, the state presented what was to be its final set of witnesses, including a jailhouse informant who said defendant Jean Jacques confessed during a game of chess to killing 25-year-old Casey Chadwick.
Inside New London Superior Court on Thursday, prosecutors Christa Baker and Marissa Goldberg called several witnesses to the stand, including an inmate who described himself as a ‘source of information’ for the Department of Corrections. state who was incarcerated at Corrigan Correctional Institute with Jacques in 2020. .
The inmate, who has since been taken into custody at a different facility, testified that he befriended Jacques after the pair spent time in a playground. During a game of chess, Jacques allegedly told his prison mate, whom The Bulletin does not identify, that he had “killed someone”.
When asked by Baker, the informant clarified that Jacques was referring to Chadwick, whose battered and lifeless body was discovered in a cupboard in the living room of his Spaulding Street flat on June 15, 2015.
The informant said Jacques did not provide details of how Chadwick was killed or why.
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The informant’s testimony angered Jacques’ lawyer, Sebastian DeSantis, who repeatedly called the witness a “professional snitch”. DeSantis argued that the informant previously said the conversation with Jacques took place in 2019 during a time when Jacques was not at Corrigan.
Hours before the start of the day’s proceedings, the informant informed prosecutors that he had been “confused” about the year of the conversation in the playground, attributing the error in part to his difficulty in assess the time spent in the immutable environment of a prison.
DeSantis said the timing of the informant’s clarification was extremely suspicious and asked Judge Shari Murphy to hold prosecutors accountable for not telling him about the recantation sooner.
“I’ve completed all of my cross-examination (circa 2019 date),” DeSantis explained.
Murphy, in authorizing the testimony, noted that the informant had previously admitted under oath that he was unsure of the year of the conversation with Jacques, but provided other verifiable details, including the location of Jacques’ cell.
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During his cross-examination, DeSantis accused the informant – previously convicted of theft and burglary – of giving the information to prosecutors in the hope of obtaining a reduction of part of his prison sentence. four and a half years remaining.
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Earlier in the week, a statement from another prison mate of Jacques was presented. Tywan Jenkins told police Jacques confessed to him while in Corrigan that he ‘snapped’ and stabbed Chadwick in the head several times before burying the knife and leaving with his phone and drugs .
The state is expected to close its case on Tuesday, with DeSantis expected to call his own witnesses to the stand. It is unclear whether Jacques will testify in his own defense.
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Since the trial began earlier this month, several state witnesses have testified, including members of law enforcement, friends of Chadwick and acquaintances of Jacques – many of whom spoke at a trial for murder in 2016 that ended with Jacques’ conviction in Chadwick’s death and a 60-year sentence. -phrasing.
That conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court after judges ruled Norwich Police carried out an unlawful search of the flat in Jacques’ Crossways Street where Chadwick’s mobile phone and a quantity of cocaine had been found.
The High Court ruling meant prosecutors could not mention the findings of the illegal search to the jury, although a Norwich Police narcotics detective testified that Jacques – who less than a week previously had not supposedly no drugs for sale – had been arrested with cocaine on the same day Chadwick’s body was found.
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Prosecutors allege Jacques stabbed Chadwick to death and stole marijuana and crack cocaine stashed in her apartment by her boyfriend. A medical examiner testified that Chadwick had been stabbed more than a dozen times.
Jacques has not wavered in his insistence that he did not kill Chadwick and accused the police of setting him up for the crime.
The jury is expected to begin its deliberations by Friday.
John Penney can be reached at [email protected] or (860) 857-6965.
This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Jury deliberations in Casey Chadwick murder trial could begin on Friday