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Married man jailed 5 years for stabbing cousin to death over side chick

Godwin Kotey, a married unemployed man, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of his cousin, Fredrick Nii Oko Sackey.

Nsawam Prison - Ghana

As reported by starrfm.com.gh. the case had initially been charged as murder, but Kotey's plea bargain with the state led to a reduced charge and sentence.

“My Lady respectfully, we have entered into plea negotiations with the Attorney General and we would respectfully like to change the plea of the accused person from not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter,” the news website quotes Edwin Hoffman Counsel holding brief of Kwame Appiah as having told the Court while pointing to section 239(2) of Act 30.

The tragic incident stemmed from a confrontation between Kotey and his cousin over Kotey's girlfriend, whom Sackey had been accommodating. Kotey, alleging an affair between Sackey and his girlfriend, engaged in heated arguments with his cousin, which escalated to violence.

According to court proceedings, the conflict reached a boiling point on November 23rd when Kotey, armed with a screwdriver, confronted Sackey at Salaga Market. In the ensuing altercation, Kotey stabbed Sackey in the chest with the screwdriver before fleeing the scene. Despite efforts by bystanders to apprehend him, Kotey managed to escape temporarily but was later turned over to the authorities.

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Forensic evidence presented during the trial confirmed that Sackey died from a stab wound to the chest, specifically a perforated right ventricle, as determined by a pathologist from Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The legal proceedings took a turn when Kotey, through his counsel, Edwin Hoffman, invoked the Plea Bargaining Act, seeking to negotiate a plea deal with the Attorney General. After negotiations, Kotey changed his plea from not guilty to murder to guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the court.

Senior State Attorney Vivian Osei Tutu confirmed that the Attorney General had approved the plea agreement, leading to Kotey's conviction for manslaughter. The court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, considered the circumstances of the case and the agreed-upon sentence of five years, which was deemed reasonable. Kotey was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison with hard labour.

The tragic incident highlights the consequences of escalating disputes and resorting to violence. Kotey's guilty plea and subsequent conviction serve as a reminder of the legal repercussions of taking matters into one's own hands.

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