NEW LONDON -- An illegal Haitian immigrant convicted in the 2015 murder or a Norwich woman was sentenced Monday in New London Superior Court.
Jean Jacques , 41, was given the maximum 60 years to serve behind bars for the murder of Casey Chadwick.
Before the punishment was handed down, Jacques spoke and maintained his innocence. "I'm not the one who killed Casey...she's like a sister to me," Jacques said.
He also decried the court system, saying he was guilty before the trial began.
"I've been guilty before I even try my case in trial," Jacques said in broken English. "Because (it's) about immigration issue."
But Casey's mother knows he did it. Wendy Hartling said, "No, no doubt, no doubt, that man killed my daughter."
He murdered Chadwick just five months after he was released from prison after serving 17 years for attempted murder in a separate case. Failed attempts to deport Jacques back to Haiti led ICE officials to set him free in early 2015.
"You clearly did not return from incarceration with the goal of living within the bounds of the law," the judge said.
Jacques originally came to the U.S. illegally from Haiti back in 1996. Earlier in the year, he wrote a letter to FOX 61 about being moved around in detention facilities and not deported.
Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, says she is working on introducing new laws in Connecticut to help change deportation policies and believes that had the ICE and The Department of Homeland Security done their jobs, her daughter might still be here.
"We have gotten no answers as of yet," Hartling said. "They should be held accountable, I.C.E."