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New court date for man accused of killing UTech student

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2019 | 12:09 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Rahjif Morgan, the man charged with the January 5 murder of University of Technology (UTech) student Demar Stennett, was given a new mention date of October 23 when he made his first appearance in the St James Circuit Court yesterday.

Morgan, who allegedly stabbed Stennett more than 50 times, appeared quite calm as he stood in the prisoners’ dock as prosecutor Maxine Jackson outlined the details of the case to presiding High Court Justice Glen Brown.

“The defendant and the deceased were attending UTech at the same time and were said to be good friends. It was shown that the deceased had 54 stab wounds, and the doctor further noted that there were no defensive wounds, and death was as a result of the multiple stab wounds,” Jackson told the court.

“I believe this is a matter where we could have mature discussions, as there were two knives on the scene and we are awaiting the DNA analysis,” added Jackson.

Morgan’s lawyer, Henry McCurdy, asked for the case to be deferred so he could take additional instructions from his client. Justice Brown subsequently set October 23 as the case’s next mention date and extended Morgan’s bail until that date.

Stennett, the first person killed in St James for 2019, was stabbed to death along Merriam Way near Westgate Hills in Montego Bay.

It is alleged that at approximately 7 a.m. on the day of the murder, soldiers assigned to the zone of special operations in Mount Salem were on patrol along Merriam Way, when they saw Morgan standing beside a parked car and decided to question him.

Morgan reportedly told the soldiers that the vehicle had broken down. However, his behaviour and several wounds to his face aroused their suspicion, and when they approached him, he fled into nearby bushes. The soldiers chased and caught Morgan, who fought with them before he was subdued.

Morgan was then brought back to the car, where the soldiers found a bloody knife. He subsequently led them to nearby bushes where Stennett’s body was located.

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