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Published On: Wed, May 9th, 2018

Man acquitted of Zorilla-manslaughter

Gary ZorillaPHILIPSBURG – During a massive fight at Diamond Hill in Cole Bay on July 20, 2017, 23-year old Gary Zorilla Carrenno lost his life while two others sustained serious injuries. But nobody will go to jail for Zorrilla’s death, because the Court in First Instance acquitted Akil Amaru Livestone of the manslaughter-charge on Wednesday.

At the trial on April 18, the public prosecutor demanded 15 years of imprisonment against Livestone; the court sentenced the 21-year old defendant to just 15 months for one count of serious ill-treatment and one count of an attempt to serious ill-treatment against two other opponents in the fight.

Shauwn Richardson sustained perforated intestines after Livestone stabbed him and Keshawn Carty was left with a wound to an arm after Livestone threw a possibly broken bottle at him.

The court sentenced two others who took part in the fight – Ignacio André Warner, 25, and Jeremy Elihu Nathan Samuel, 23, to 1 month of imprisonment and 100 hours of community service for committing acts of public violence.

Nobody saw that Livestone stabbed Zorilla, the court concluded from the dossier. Shauwn Richardson – witness and victim – saw Livestone with a knife when he himself was stabbed. “His statement to the judge of instruction shows that this was the only moment he saw the suspect with a knife,” the court ruling states. “Richardson did not see that Livestone later on still had a knife in his hand and he also has not seen that he stabbed Zorilla.”

Zorilla died as the result of a large number of stab wounds – seven in total; five stab wounds to the front of his body and two to his back. “That is not enough to arrive at proof for manslaughter by the defendant,” the court ruled. The fact that a forensic investigation revealed that Livestone’s DNA was present under the victim’s fingernails did not change anything – “because the defendant declared that he had fought with the victim. That he made different statements about those fights does not amount to positive proof that he stabbed him.”

The investigation furthermore has not established which knife was used to stab Zorilla.

The court considered however proven that Livestone had caused Shauwn Richardson perforated intestines by stabbing him with a sharp object and that he attempted to cause grievous bodily harm to Keshawn Carty by throwing a bottle at him; unclear remains whether this bottle was broken or not.

The court rejected the alternative scenario Livestone presented at the trial. He claimed that a man called Jerome had come out of the bushes with a  machete and that he is the one who stabbed Zorilla and Richardson. The court found this implausible because the stab wounds were inflicted with a knife with a blade not larger than 2 to 2.5 centimeter.

The court also rejected the self-defense argument in the case of Keshawn Carty because several  witnesses confirmed that Livestone started the fight.

The court declared the claim of the Zorilla family for damages to the tune of $7678.88 inadmissible, because Livestone was acquitted of the manslaughter charge. The court awarded $320 in damages to Carty and $90 to Richardson.