NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – An illegal immigrant was sentenced to 60 years in prison for killing a Norwich woman, but on Wednesday, his conviction was overturned.
It’s outraged the victim’s family.
After the conviction, the victim’s family thought this was done and they could move on. Now, with old wounds reopened, they say they’re re-living a nightmare.
Four years ago, Casey Chadwick was murdered and stuffed in a closet.
Her mother, Wendy Brown, says she was stabbed between 7 and 12 times.
“One of them was right back through her vertebrae,” Brown said.
Norwich police arrested Jean Jacques, and illegal immigrant from Haiti.
“We were told not to identify her, that’s how bad,” Brown said.
Brown said the two knew each other through mutual friends.
This case made national headlines and even Brown testified on Capitol Hill, because after serving time for an attempted murder, Jacques was supposed to be deported, but Haiti wouldn’t take him back. So, he was released.
“And five months later, he killed my daughter,” Brown said.
The 45-year-old Jacques was sentenced to 60 years, essentially amounting to live, but the case is back in the headlines, now shining a light on what the family is calling “judicial loopholes.”
“I’m starting over. It’s like day one now,” Brown said.
The overturned conviction hinges on the Norwich apartment Jacques rented. He was arrested on drug charges and couldn’t post bond, so he couldn’t make rent.
Five days after the lease expired, landlord Antonio Barros, threw out Jacques things.
“It was garbage, so I threw it out in the trash over here,” Barros said.
But later, police wanted to get into the apartment. They received a tip that Chadwick’s phone was stashed in a wall at Jacques’ apartment.
Police approached Barros and asked to search without a warrant. Investigators were let into the apartment and found the phone.
But Jacques says because they didn’t have a warrant, that phone shouldn’t have been evidence and the Connecticut Supreme Court officially overturned the murder conviction.
“I’m furious that they would even think of giving him a new trial,” Brown said.
Chadwick would have been 29-years-old this year.
Brown vows to continue to fight and is confident Jacques will be found guilty again. She says even without Chadwick’s phone, there’s still a lot of evidence.
“Casey’s blood on his clothes, his blood on the floor,” Brown said.
Brown does admit she is worried that Jacques might work out a plea deal for a shorter sentence. She said at this time, she does not plan on going after Norwich Police.