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    Police-Fire Reports
    Monday, May 27, 2024

    Homeland Security official to investigate immigration inaction related to Norwich murder case

    The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to investigate the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency's failure to deport convicted felon Jean Jacques, a Haitian national accused of murdering Casey Chadwick in Norwich in June 2015.

    U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, issued a news release Thursday saying Inspector General John Roth has launched an inquiry at their request. 

    "We are pleased that the Office of the Inspector General has heeded our call and will now conduct a thorough, independent inquiry of this deeply troubling case," the release said. "It is unacceptable that ICE failed to remove a convicted attempted murderer subject to a final deportation order— a measure that would have saved the life of Casey Chadwick. ICE's responses thus far to our repeated inquiries into this case have been incomplete and unsatisfactory, and we hope that this independent inquiry will finally uncover the facts surrounding this tragedy, enabling reforms necessary to ensure that this never happens again."

    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. on June 15 and leaving her body in a closet.

    Chadwick's survivors were outraged to learn that Jacques, who was on parole after serving 16 years in prison for attempted murder, had not been deported after his release from prison, despite being turned over twice to immigration officials.

    Chadwick's mother, Wendy Hartling, who has been working with attorney Chester W. Fairlie and former Republican congressional candidate Lori Hopkins-Cavanaugh to reform immigration policy, said she was excited to hear there will be a formal investigation into ICE's handling of Jacques's case.

    "She shouldn't have been killed," Hartling said. "She should still be here. They were supposed to deport him three different times, and that's wrongful death as far as i'm concerned. If they did what they were supposed to do, he would have been deported and my daughter would still be here."

    A spokesman for the inspector general could not immediately be reached for comment.

    In a May 2015 report on immigration enforcement, Inspector General Roth reported that the Department of Homeland Security often is missing crucial data needed to carry out its enforcement policies.

    The report indicates that in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, the department spent $21 billion on immigration enforcement.

    According to the report, in 2013, 662,483 undocumented immigrants were apprehended and 438,421 were removed from the country, including 198,394 with prior criminal records.

    Jacques came to the United States through Guantanamo, Cuba, in 1991, according to court records.

    Convicted of attempted murder in 1997 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, he was released in 2012 to the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, but set free after a failed deportation attempt.

    Charged with a parole violation in 2014, he was returned to prison for about six months, when he was once again turned over to the custody of ICE and again set free without being deported.

    About five months later, Chadwick was dead.

    Immigration officials have said they were unable to secure travel documents for Jacques to return to Haiti.

    They said they could not detain him indefinitely as the result of a 2001 Supreme Court decision.

    k.florin@theday.com

    Twitter: @KFLORIN

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