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Judgment reserved in Moruga murder appeal
The appeal of a 33-year-old man who was convicted of robbing and murdering a taxi driver came up for hearing yesterday before three judges in the Court of Appeal. David Donald, of Brothers Road, Rio Claro, was convicted of the murder of Ramesh Seelochan by a 12-member jury in the San Fernando High Court on February 1, 2007.
The appeal is being heard by Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justices Alice Yorke Soo-Hon and Rajendra Narine. After hearing submissions from Donald’s attorneys and state representative Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal, the judges reserved judgment to a date to be determined by the court.
During the trial before Justice Mark Mohammed, it was the prosecution’s case that on August 8, 2002, Donald and his friend Willis Romeo boarded Seelochan’s taxi in Tabaquite. After travelling a short distance, Donald allegedly drew a gun and announced a robbery. Donald then allegedly ordered that Seelochan drive to Cats Hill Forest, Moruga, where the victim was robbed of $260.
Seelochan’s Nissan B12 taxi was found burnt. Days later, his decomposing body was discovered in the forest by investigators. Donald was arrested a week after Seelochan’s murder. He was held at Piarco International Airport. A passport and an airline ticket to Grenada were allegedly found in his possession. Romeo was the State’s main witness against Donald.
Donald was barred from attending a part of the trial after he threw peanuts at jurors and accused them of being prejudicial to him. In his submission’s yesterday, Donald’s attorney Evans Welch said evidence of the airline ticket which was presented in the trial should be labelled as inadmissible, as the document was not produced in court. Welch also claimed that his client was denied his fundamental rights when he was barred from the trial for a short period.
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