Man jailed for hammering WBD resident to death

Christopher Cheong, 20, pleaded guilty to killing 49-year-old James Steward, also known as “Buby,” when he virtually appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the High Court on Friday.

Dead: James Steward

Initially, the accused was indicted for murder, but opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. He admitted that on July 17, 2016, he killed Steward.
The indictment against Cheong was presented by State Prosecutors Nafeeza Baig and Tuanna Hardy. The prosecution’s case contended that on the day in question, the accused, while being intoxicated, went to his cousin’s house at David Rose Street, Bagotville, West Bank Demerara (WBD).
While there, he picked up a hammer and found Steward at his home in Unity Street, La Grange, WBD, where he dealt him one blow to the head.
He then returned home with blood on his clothes and the hammer in his hand and informed his cousin that he had killed someone.

Christopher Cheong on August 3, 2016, when he was remanded to prison

He, nevertheless, retired to bed but later woke up and washed his blood-stained clothes. The deceased was subsequently found by Police, lying in a pool of blood at his Unity Street, La Grange home.
At the time he committed the heinous crime, he was 16 years old. Justice Kissoon had initially sentenced Cheong to 25 years’ imprisonment but reduced it by one year three months for his early guilty plea and another eight years for a plea of mitigation by the defence and four years for the time he spent in prison.
An additional two years were added for aggravating factors presented by the State.
Cheong will serve a seven-year jail term for manslaughter. He was represented by Attorney Max McKay.