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    Police-Fire Reports
    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Judge rules evidence is sufficient to prosecute Jacques for murder in Norwich

    Superior Court Judge Hillary B. Strackbein ruled Tuesday that the state has sufficient evidence to prosecute Jean Jacques for murder in the June 15, 2015, stabbing death of Casey Chadwick in Norwich.

    Prosecutor David J. Smith elicited testimony from six witnesses and entered 15 exhibits into evidence during a probable cause hearing in New London.

    Jacques, 41, has been held in lieu of $1 million since Norwich police charged him with stabbing Chadwick, 25, at her apartment at 16 Spaulding St. and leaving her body in a closet. As a defendant in a murder case, Jacques was entitled to the evidentiary hearing.

    The victim's boyfriend, who knew Jacques as "Zoe," testified about finding Chadwick's body and noticing that marijuana and crack cocaine were missing from the apartment.

    Chadwick had sent him a text message earlier saying "Zoe," an acquaintance of both Chadwick and Joseph, was at the residence.

    Joseph told police he called Zoe's cellphone, and Jacques confirmed he was at the apartment.

    The prosecutor also called to the witness stand Norwich police dispatcher Laura Zellner, patrolman Matthew Goddu, detective Anthony Gomes and paramedic Paul Refuse.

    Also testifying was Tywan Jenkins, a former prison cellmate of Jacques, who testified Jacques made incriminating statements.

    Jacques was arrested and held on crack cocaine sales charges hours after Chadwick's boyfriend discovered her body. Police later obtained a murder warrant saying the state scientific services laboratory confirmed that DNA found on an item in Chadwick's apartment matched a DNA profile of Jacques.

    Also, police said they found Chadwick's cellphone, along with the missing drugs, at Jacques' apartment.

    Following the judge's finding Tuesday, defense attorney Sebastian O. DeSantis entered a not-guilty plea on Jacques' behalf.

    He will return to court on March 1, when the attorneys will begin discussing whether they can resolve the case short of a trial.

    Jacques, a Haitian national, had been convicted of attempted murder in 1997 and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

    He was on parole when he was charged with killing Chadwick, and her survivors were outraged to learn that Jacques had not been deported, despite being turned over twice to immigration officials.

    k.florin@theday.com

    Twitter: @KFLORIN

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