ST JAMES, Jamaica— A man accused of chopping another man in the head during an argument over ackee had his case settled through mediation when he appeared in the St James Parish Court on Monday.
Ricardo Ellis, who appeared before presiding parish judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley, was charged with unlawful wounding.
Despite having gone through restorative justice proceedings, no satisfactory outcome was achieved between the parties involved, resulting in the case being scheduled for trial, which was to commence on Wednesday.
Judge Smith-Ashley suggested on Monday that the parties attempt alternative methods of settling their dispute once again, and the case was briefly postponed to allow them to engage in a mediation session with a probation officer who was present in court.
When the case was revisited, it was revealed in court that an agreement had been reached between the two parties with Ellis agreeing to compensate the complainant in the amount of $150,000.
Ellis handed over $10,000 to the complainant on Monday, leaving a balance of $140,000 that must be settled by December 20.
As a result of the mediation agreement, the prosecution offered no evidence against Ellis.
The judge then asked the complainant to sign to acknowledge receipt of the money.
“Sir, you are to get $140,000 by December 20, not a day later. If December 21 comes and you don’t get the rest of it, you come back to the court’s office downstairs and speak with the clerk to find out what the next step is,” the judge told the complainant before disposing of the case.
According to the allegations, on January 6, about 6:00 pm in Providence Heights, the complainant, a Rastafarian, was picking ackee from a tree that Ellis had cut down.
An argument developed, and Ellis reportedly used a machete to chop the complainant in the head.