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Haitian who entered U.S. illegally gets month to think over plea deal in Norwich murder case

NEW LONDON – A Connecticut man whose murder conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court has until next month to decide whether to accept a plea d...
jean jacques

NEW LONDON – A Connecticut man whose murder conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court has until next month to decide whether to accept a plea deal from prosecutors or face a retrial.

A lawyer for Jean Jacques, charged in the 2015 slaying of 25-year-old Casey Chadwick in Norwich, said in court on Thursday that he had conveyed the offer to his client and asked for a continuance to allow Jacques to think it over. Jacques is being held in lieu of $1 million at the Cheshire Correctional Institution.

Jacques had been convicted of the murder, but in July 2019, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Jacques, now 45, deserves a new trial because a search by Norwich police of his apartment was conducted before a search warrant was obtained.

The attorney said he expects Jacques to reject the offer on Feb. 6, setting the stage for a new trial.

The case has drawn national attention because Jacques, who had served 15 years for a shooting in Norwich, was released into the custody of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. ICE attempted to deport Jacques back to Haiti, but Haiti refused to accept him. After a little more than six months in custody, ICE released him back into the community in 2012. President Trump cited the case during his 2016 campaign.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney introduced The Remedies for Refusal of Repatriation Act, known as “Casey’s Law,” in 2016. The bill intended to expedite deportation of illegal immigrants who pose a threat to public safety or who have committed a violent crime, and to “crack down” on countries that delay or refuse official U.S. attempts to deport dangerous criminals to their home country. Courtney reintroduced the bill in 2017, but it has not been passed.