Wed | May 22, 2019

Teacher to stand trial for manslaughter

Published:Thursday | April 25, 2019 | 12:23 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Kerry-Ann Cunningham, the St James teacher who is charged in connection with the death of Anchovy Primary School student Easton Stapleton, who was killed in a vehicular accident at the school last June, will stand trial for common-law manslaughter before the St James Circuit Court on September 16.

Cunningham seemed distressed as presiding judge Annette Austin gave the court date during her committal hearing in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday. The accused woman was also offered fresh bail in the sum of $400,000 with two sureties.

In handing down her ruling, Austin explained that Cunningham’s previous charge of causing death by dangerous driving was altered because of the circumstances of the incident, where young Stapleton was reportedly struck and killed by a motor vehicle driven by the defendant on the grounds of the Anchovy Primary School on June 12, 2018.

“The charge of causing death by dangerous driving could not be sustained because it did not happen along a roadway. The Crown will not have to prove she (Cunningham) intended to kill the person, and manslaughter is the lesser charge to murder,” said Austin.

“I am committing the accused to stand trial in Montego Bay, at the circuit court, to be held on September 16, 2019, as a prima facie case (where a case’s information is accepted as correct until proven otherwise) is made out against her,” Austin added.

Seven witness statements, the accident reconstruction report, and the post-mortem report were also admitted into evidence for the upcoming trial.