United States

High Court Overturns Conviction in Norwich Murder Case

Jean Jacques was sentenced in 2016 to 60 years for the stabbing death of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick on June 15, 2015 in Norwich.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that a Haitian immigrant who was convicted of killing a Connecticut woman in 2015 should get a new trial.

Jean Jacques was sentenced in 2016 to 60 years for the stabbing death of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick on June 15, 2015 in Norwich. 

Officials said he killed her just months after being released on parole after an attempted murder conviction.  

On Wednesday the state Supreme Court overturned that conviction, saying Jacques' right to privacy was violated.

The victim's mother, Wendy Jo brown, said the ruling opens up wounds once again.

"You have to learn to live with the pain because it'll never go away," Brown said.

She said the decision makes it feel like she's back at square one.

"I'm always thinking about Casey. Always thinking about her, and this just infuriates me."

It was a unanimous decision by the court, and it came down to a warrantless search inside the apartment.

That search turned up incriminating evidence, including the victim's cell phone.

Prosecutors has said Jacques was no longer living at the apartment at the time, and he made no attempt to have family members extend the lease.

But the court ruled it violated Jacques' rights because the apartment was still his home and he had a right to privacy.

Brown feels like the justice she had for her daughter was taken away by the ruling, and says she worries about a plea deal, because she wants Jacques to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“Go ahead and throw that out. It's not going to make a difference. There's so much overwhelming evidence against him,” Brown said.

A written opinion by one of the justices agrees, saying prosecutors had an overwhelming case. But because the state didn’t argue it was a harmless error to the overall case, the court had to reverse it.

Brown said while it’s upsetting, she’ll be at any new trial, fighting for her daughter once again.

“I'm not the little crying mom that lost her baby. I'm a strong mom that is the voice of her baby. And for the rest of my life I'll fight for her.”

Brown also continues to fight for Casey’s Law, a proposal that would crack down on counties that refuse to delay attempts by the US to deport dangerous criminals – something she says would have prevented her daughter’s murder.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the state’s attorney for comment Wednesday night but has not yet heard back.

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