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Vindra Naipaul Coolman murder trial : Adjournment as juror suffers asthma attack
The Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial had to be adjourned suddenly yesterday after an alternate juror was taken to hospital suffering from a severe asthma attack. The juror’s medical condition presented itself around midday as defence attorneys were about to begin their cross-examination of the State’s latest witness Supt Radcliffe Boxhill, who began his evidence on Tuesday. Presiding Judge Malcolm Holdip informed the court of the issue and said an ambulance had been called to take the juror for treatment.
He said Boxhill’s testimony could not continue in the juror’s absence and as such the case had to be adjourned. About 20 minutes later, Emergency Health Services (EHS) staff arrived outside the Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, and were seen using a stretcher to wheel the ailing juror out of the court.
During his brief address, Holdip also informed one of the 12 accused men, Antonio Charles, that the court had made arrangements for him to visit a chiropractor after today’s hearing, to address back pain he had been complaining of during the trial.
At the start of his testimony, Boxhill, a homicide detective who was attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) when the Xtra Foods chief executive was abducted in front of her Chaguanas home on December 19, 2006, said investigators turned their attention the accused men after he received credible information from an informant. He said after receiving the information he and a large contingent of police and soldiers raided the homes of some of the accused men at Upper La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin, on January 6, 2007.
Boxhill said he spoke to two of the accused men—Shervon Peters and Earl Trimmingham—who both denied being involved in the businesswoman’s abduction. However, he claimed Trimmingham pointed out an area, known as the spring, which he said was being used as a camp by Peters and some of the other accused. Boxhill revealed when they went there, they found a structure under a silk cotton tree made out of wood and metal, in which crime scene investigators found cigarette butts, a latex glove and a black ski mask.