ALFRED – Rennie Cassimy will serve eight years in prison, after which he will likely be deported, for his role in the death of an Old Orchard Beach man two years ago, a York County Superior Court justice decided Wednesday morning.

Cassimy struck a deal with prosecutors earlier this year, pleading guilty to conspiracy in the June 20, 2008, death of Winston George. In return for his testimony at the murder trial of Winston George’s wife, Darlene George, and her brother Jeffrey Williams, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Cassimy and agreed to recommend an eight-year sentence for conspiracy.

Cassimy could have faced up to 30 years in prison on the conspiracy charge.

Darlene George and Williams were both convicted of murder and conspiracy last week. Prosecutors said Darlene George wanted her husband dead because she was angry over her husband’s affair with a co-worker and didn’t want to lose her stake in property the couple owned in case they divorced.

Cassimy said he was Darlene George’s lover at the time. Cassimy testified that Darlene George arranged for he and Williams to come to Maine from New York to stage a home invasion and kill Winston George.

Prior to sentencing Wednesday, Cassimy apologized to Winston George’s family, although apparently no one from the family was in the courtroom. He also apologized to his mother and other members of his family who were in the courtroom.

Justice G. Arthur Brennan said he sensed that Cassimy didn’t “fully appreciate the degree of responsibility you have for the death of Mr. George.”

In his testimony, Cassimy insisted several times that he had done nothing wrong because he didn’t participate in the actual killing of Winston George, who was strangled with a rope and suffocated with a plastic bag.

Brennan explained that accomplice laws make Cassimy just as responsible as Williams for the murder. Although Cassimy testified that he didn’t participate in the killing, “that in and of itself doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for his (Winston George’s) death.”

“You were liable, were criminally responsible, for Mr. George’s death as an accomplice,” Brennan said

Cassimy’s underlying sentence is for 20 years, but Brennan decided only eight years should be served in prison, followed by four years of probation.

Cassimy could be released in 4½ to five years with good behavior, said his attorney Cliff Strike. Both Strike and Brennan said Cassimy is likely to be deported to his native Trinidad and Tobago on his release .

 

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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