Trump references Norwich murder case during immigration policy speech
Donald Trump referenced the murder of Casey Chadwick, a Norwich case that has garnered attention across the country, during his immigration speech Wednesday night in Phoenix.
Trump pledged that "we will ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported. There are at least 23 countries that refuse to take their people back after they’ve been ordered to leave the United States, including large numbers of violent criminals."
"Due to a Supreme Court decision, if these violent offenders cannot be sent home, our law enforcement officers have to release them into your communities," Trump said in his address at the Phoenix Convention Center. "And, by the way, the results are horrific. Horrific. There are often terrible consequences, such as Casey Chadwick’s tragic death in Connecticut just last year."
Chadwick, 25, was found stabbed to death in her 16 Spaulding St. apartment in Norwich on June 15, 2015. In June 2016, Jean Jacques received the maximum sentence of 60 years in prison on murder charges related to her death.
The case sparked outrage because Jacques, a Haitian national, previously had been convicted of attempted murder in a 1996 incident and served a lengthy prison sentence.
In the 1996 case — a shooting on Laurel Hill Avenue in Norwich — Jacques' former girlfriend suffered a serious head injury and her new boyfriend died, according to prosecutor David J. Smith. Jacques, initially charged with murder, was convicted of attempted murder in connection with the girlfriend's injury and criminal possession of a firearm.
However, when he was released, Jacques remained in the U.S.
U.S. Immigration officials continued efforts to deport him to Haiti even after he was arrested in connection with Chadwick’s murder, but as recently as February 2016 officials in his native country refused to accept him because he lacked identification documents.
It was the fourth time the country refused to allow Jacques to board a plane bound for the island nation he had fled by boat in 1992.
Wendy Hartling, Chadwick’s mother, has been working with New London attorney Chester Fairlie to reform immigration policy, and in April traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Connecticut's federal delegation and tell her story to a congressional oversight committee.
Her daughter, she said, never would have died if the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had done its job.
"Thousands of immigrants who commit heinous crimes and should be deported are instead released into society," Hartling said in her impact statement to the court during Jacques’ trial.
Day Staff Writers Karen Florin, Izaskun E. Larrañeta and Melissa Johnson contributed to this report.
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