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JUST IN: Guilty … Businessman convicted in Oaklands murder case

Published:Thursday | September 8, 2016 | 2:59 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer 

Businessman Stephen Causwell has been found guilty in the Oaklands murder case.

The verdict of the seven-member jury was handed down in the Home Circuit Court a short while ago after they retired for two and a half hours.

By a 6 to 1 majority decision, Causwell was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Nardia Mitchell, a 28-year-old mother of one child at her Oaklands Apartment in St Andrew in July 2008.

He was immediately taken into police custody after presiding judge Carol Lawrence Beswick said she would not be able to consider bail pending sentencing.

Mitchell's body was found on the ground inside the apartment complex with 27 injuries, 19 of which were inflicted before she died.

After a one-month break in the case having thrown out a no-case submission, in a rare development on August 30,  Lawrence-Beswick had stopped the testimonies by the defence to ask the prosecutor to explain how the submission regarding Mitchell's deadly injuries were linked to Causwell.

Prosecutors led evidence that Mitchell had admitted to police investigators that on the fateful night, he and Mitchell had a fight during which he punched her and gave her a “few licks”.

Causwell’s attorney Jacqueline Samuels Brown said the judge's question showed her concern about whether the prosecution had made out a case of murder.

The prosecution later characterised Causwell as an obsessive, compulsive man driven by jealousy who refused to accept that his relationship with Mitchell had ended.

Cellphone records showed that in less than 24 hours, he called Mitchell’s phone 76 times when he suspected that she was seeing another man.

The evidence showed that Causwell was the last to have seen Mitchell alive and was the one who transported her to hospital.

The defence had maintained that the circumstantial evidence used against Causwell was weak, saying there was nothing to link him to Mitchell’s death.