FOR seven years, Emmanuel Vincent shared a jail cell with son Sylvester Vincent, but the two walked free yesterday after being found not guilty of murder.
Vincent's freedom was bitter-sweet because he left behind a second son and cellmate, Sterlin Vincent, who was found guilty of the 2005 murder of Clifton Alleyne.
Emmanuel, 66, said he felt "halfway outside, halfway inside", having left his younger son to return to prison.
"I feel like he should have been going with me," Sylvester said.
Justice Geoffrey Henderson sentenced Sterlin Vincent to death by hanging after the jury found him guilty after a five-month-long trial.
It took the 12 members on the panel in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court the full three hours before they returned with the not guilty verdict against Emmanuel Vincent and a guilty verdict against Sterlin Vincent.
They asked for further time and 45 minutes later decided that Sylvester Vincent was not guilty.
It was the State's case that Alleyne, who was also called "Maddy" and "Boboy", was stabbed to death in Lengua Village, Princes Town.
State attorney Angelica Teelucksingh said that on February 1, 2005, Alleyne, 46, had returned from a beach lime at around 7 p.m. and later that night went to a neighbour's home.
Steve Rodriguez, the State's main witness, said he saw Sterlin with a knife, and he made an attempt to attack him (Rodriguez) and Alleyne.
Rodriguez said he told Emmanuel to speak to his son about his behaviour and about him beating Alleyne in the past, without reason.
He testified that he saw Sterlin stab Alleyne in the back and he fell to the ground.
Shortly after, he said, Emmanuel and Sylvester joined him and they, too, began stabbing the deceased.
Alleyne was pronounced dead at the Princes Town Health Facility. The three men denied being involved in the killing.
Sterlin said he had suffered a blackout after he was hit in the face with a piece of wood.
Speaking with reporters following the verdicts, both Emmanuel and Sylvester said they were not surprised.
"I believe I would have been freed because I never do anything," Emmanuel said.
He said since his incarceration, he had become a pensioner and would be unable to work and was now looking forward to collecting social assistance.
The three men, who had waited for the last seven and half years for the trial, had been placed in the same cell throughout the period.
Emmanuel and Sylvester were represented by attorney Rekha Ramjit, instructed by attorney Neera Narine.
Sterlin Vincent was represented by attorney Nizam Mohammed, instructed by attorney Petronilla Basdeo.