Dead woman’s Testimony leads to Murder Conviction Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00

Emmerson EaghanEmmerson Eaghan’s sentencing has been adjourned to Friday April 27th after being found guilty of the murder of 35- year-old Dennis Nembhard on Monday April 23rd. Nembhard was killed on June 1, 2009 and Eaghan was charged with his death. Dennis Nembhard, known as “Colored” was shot and killed on Flamboyant Street near Oleander Street.

In an unprecedented case, Eaghan was convicted based on a statement given by the only prosecution witness, who was also killed a year after she witnessed Nembhard’s murder. That witness was Shelmadine Sanchez, known “Shelly”, who was shot and killed on August 13, 2010. Sanchez at the time of her murder lived at #5 Oleander Street, not too far from the area where Nembhard was killed in 2009.   Sanchez was shot multiple times while at the corner of Peter Seco and Oleander Streets.

Eaghan’s conviction was announced at 6:20 p.m., after the 12-member jury found him guilty after less than 3 hours of deliberation.  At the commencement of Eaghan’s murder trial, it had to be established that the crown’s only witness, who saw the murder back in 2009, Sanchez was indeed dead and was unable to be present in court. Prosecutor Christopher Rodriguez made an application before Justice Adolph Lucas so as to show that Sanchez was dead and to get her statement to be admitted into evidence. This was done in the presence of the 12-member jury and in the end of that application, Justice Lucas admitted Sanchez’s statement into evidence and is was read out loud in court by Cpl. Detective, Aracadio Chun, the police officer who recorded Sanchez’s statement in 2009.

 Without Sanchez’s statement, the prosecution had no other evidence to produce against Eaghan so her statement was crucial. In that statement, Shelmadine Sanchez told police that on June 1, 2009, between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., she was walking  along with other persons on Croton Lane heading towards Oleander Street  when in front of a ‘Jenny Shop’, Nembhard uttered some words at them. She continued to walk toward Haulze Street and that’s when she said to Nembhard, “Sweetie, stop rail up and go home.”    Nembhard continued to walk towards his home, and according to Sanchez, she walked into a separate direction but yet she had Nembhard in her view.  As she entered a yard in the nearby area, she noticed a man whom she recognized as Eaghan. He pulled out a gun and shot Nembhard.

In his defense, Eaghan took the stand and gave a sworn testimony where he claimed that at the time of the murder he had been playing basketball at a court near Mahogany Street.