A father embroiled in an infamous 2009 child abandonment case in Toronto is now facing a minimum 15-year sentence in Jamaica after being found guilty of murdering his wife seven years ago, according to Crown prosecutors.
Former Toronto resident Alphanso Warren was arrested by Jamaican police in 2015. Officials say he stabbed his wife Stephanie Warren to death in a Kingston residence during an argument on New Year’s Eve.
A key witness testified they saw the couple fighting in an apartment complex, says lead Crown prosecutor in charge of the case, Andrea Martin-Swaby.
“[The witness] heard the deceased saying, ‘Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me,'” said Martin-Swaby.
“[She] repeated that a few times until the voice actually faded.”
A judge found Warren guilty on May 12 in Home Circuit Court in Kingston.
In Jamaica, a murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of 15 years, with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Warren will be sentenced on Jun. 23.
The trial was originally supposed to start in 2019, but was postponed to a later date and then faced additional delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Warren initially pleaded not guilty on April 20.
A checkered past
Warren and his wife moved to Jamaica shortly after they were convicted of abandoning their eight-month-old baby, Angelica Leslie, in the stairwell of a parking garage in the area of Finch Avenue and Leslie Street on a -14 C night in January 2008.
The girl was found alone, face down with minor cuts and bruises, but she later recovered and was adopted. Children’s Aid removed the couple’s three other children following the incident.
Alphanso was sentenced to 22 months in jail, but had spent 11 months in custody awaiting trial and was granted two-for-one credit and released. Stephanie was fined under the Family Services and Child Protection Act.
After their move, Jamaican police were called in early 2012 to investigate the disappearance of the couple’s two-year-old son.
They later pleaded guilty to concealing his death after neighbours discovered the toddler’s partly decomposed and mummified body in a suitcase in the Warrens’ Kingston apartment.
A pathology report in the case showed the toddler likely died of disease, poisoning or asphyxiation, though it was impossible to be certain of the cause of death due to the state of the remains upon examination, the report concluded.
Neither parent was charged in the death of the child.