Eight years for killing friend at Zeelugt

Twenty-eight-year-old father of nine, Satish Diaz, was yesterday sentenced to eight years in jail for the 2014 killing of his friend, Mahendra Singh, who he dealt a single blow, while they were drinking.

Diaz was indicted on the charge of manslaughter, to which he pleaded guilty before Justice Navindra Singh at the High Court in Georgetown.

He accepted that between April 1 and 2, 2014, he unlawfully killed Singh, called “Pit Bull” at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo.

The prosecution’s case, which he did not contest, was that he and Singh were imbibing, when the latter said something which offended him.

As a result, Diaz dealt the man a blow, from which he subsequently died. Attorney Maxwell Mc Kay, who represented the convict, asked the court for leniency.

In mitigation, counsel begged the judge to consider that his client had taken responsibility for his actions, did not waste the court’s time and had no previous brushes with the law.

According to Mc Kay, since his incarceration, Diaz has been taking advantage of programmes offered by the prison. He said the young man has since learnt to read and write.

In his brief address to the court, the convict said that he was sorry for taking his friend’s life, noting that he never intended for that to happen. He nonetheless took responsibility for the result.

“Please have mercy on me Sir,” he asked Justice Singh.

Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy, however, reminded the court that a life was lost and asked that a sentence commensurate with his actions, be imposed.

The judge said that after considering both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, Diaz would be sentenced to eight years in prison, minus time spent on remand.

The judge told Diaz, that while from the case file it seemed the deceased had provoked him, resulting in a charge of manslaughter being instituted, a life has nonetheless been lost.

In his admonition to continue being a well-behaved prisoner, Justice Singh suggested to the convict that he stays away from alcohol, considering the problems it had gotten him into.

“Because of drinking, your friend is dead from a single blow, and you are in prison,” the judge pointed out to Diaz, who nodded in agreement.

When asked, Diaz had told Justice Singh that no one had forced him to plead to the charge and that he was aware of his right to a trial.

He told the court too, that he had discussed his decision with his attorney.

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