The sentence is death by hanging
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Saturday, September 14 2013
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TO HANG: Daniel Agard....
THE DEATH sentence was read out three times yesterday to Daniel Agard, 29, who was convicted of the 2001 murders of agricultural consultant John Cropper, 59, his mother-in-law Maggie Lee, 68, and sister-in-law Lynette Lithgow-Pearson, 57.
Agard stood in silence in the First Criminal Court at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain with his arms crossed before him, as Justice Prakash Moosai read out aloud the court’s sentence after Agard was found guilty of the murders, by a 12 member jury which took 183 minutes to deliberate on a verdict.
There was an audible collective sigh of relief from Cropper’s relatives and friends who were in court when Justice Moosai said on three occasions: “Daniel Agard...the sentence of this court upon you is that you are to be taken from this place, to a lawful prison, and therein to a place of execution. And there you will suffer death by hanging. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
After the sentence, Agard was whisked away by Court and Process officers and taken to the prisoner’s holding cells in the Assizes. It was there that Agard was visited by his attorney Wayne Sturge.
The State was represented by a team of attorneys led by prosecutor Marissa Joseph.
Acting Inspector Michael Veronique was the complainant in the matter.
Shortly after hearing the verdict and sentence, Cropper’s relatives left the courthouse. Although they declined to speak to reporters in depth, they did remark that they felt relieved at the outcome and are, “thanking God all the way.”
Agard of Upper Bushe Street, Maitagual in San Juan, was charged with the triple murders which took place at Cropper’s Mt Anne Drive, Second Avenue Cascade, home some time between December 11 and 12, 2001. The bodies of the three were only found at the home on December 13. All three had been bound and gagged and their throats slit.
This was the second time Agard went on trial for the triple murder. On July 14, 2004, Agard was sentenced to death alongside Lester Pitman by then Justice Herbert Volney, for the murders of Cropper and his relatives.
However, the two men appealed the decision and the Court of Appeal dismissed Pitman’s appeal on April 15, 2005, but ordered a retrial for Agard.
Pitman was eventually granted leave in July 2006 to appeal to the Privy Council after the Law Lords received a report that he was not mentally competent to make or sign a confession which he allegedly gave to the police.