(CNS): Orlando Graham (36), a Jamaican national from George Town, was found guilty on Friday of intentionally wounding a former friend following an argument over a card game that turned violent. Graham was remanded in custody after he was convicted of stabbing Prentice Brown in the heart following a game of Rummy in January, when Graham lost money and accused his victim of cheating. Brown, also a Jamaican national living in George Town, had gone to the shared house where Graham lived to play dominoes and cards with a group of people.
During the trial the jury heard that the group of men and women were playing for cash. Both Brown and Graham were armed with knives, which they pulled out when they got into the argument and began hurling insults over the card table.
Graham demanded that Brown return the $50 he had lost but Brown refused. The argument escalated as Graham blocked the door to prevent Brown from leaving. However, one of the other men playing cards, who was described as “housing the card game”, gave Graham $50 from his own money in an effort to defuse the situation and avoid trouble.
As a result Brown, who admitted pulling out his knife first, put it back in his pocket and believed that the situation had been diffused, an account that was corroborated by the man who paid Graham.
Brown said that as he made his way to leave, Graham began hurling more insults, left the room where the cards were being played and entered the corridor. Then he came after him, still armed with his knife. Brown said that in the ensuing scuffle Graham stabbed him in the chest and he fell through a door into another room, where Graham’s baby mother and her sister were. Brown told the court they were the ones who helped him and got him to hospital.
Brown was critically injured, having been stabbed in the heart, and required emergency surgery to save his life. It took him many months to recover as he sustained various complications as a result of the injury.
When Graham was arrested later that same morning, he claimed that he had stabbed Brown in self-defence because after getting his money back, Brown had continued insulting him and then had come after him, arms raised and with his knife in his hand. But during the trial Graham claimed that it was an accident, as Brown had lunged at him and landed on his knife.
Both men told the court they had been carrying knives for their protection. Graham also noted that he was a witness in another criminal case where the people involved had threatened his life.
The jury of four women and three men took less than two hours to find Graham guilty of wounding with intent and as a result he was remanded in custody to HMP Northward. He is due to be sentenced Thursday.