You are here
Murder accused to know fate next week
A 12-member jury will decide the fate of a 27-year-old man accused of killing four neighbours during a dominoes game in 2006 when his trial concludes in the Port-of-Spain Assizes next week. Justice Prakash Moosai, who is presiding over the trial which began in October last year, is expected to begin presenting his summation of the case to the jury next Monday.
In his summation, which is expected to last several days, Moosai will explain to the jury the relevant legal and factual issues which arose in the case. Ezra “Dougla” Bhagwandeen, of Governor Trace, Las Lomas, is before Moosai charged with murdering his neighbours at Kernahan Trace, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, on August 18, 2006.
The victims of the shooting were Renald Elie, 46; Gerald Gibson, 52; Willard Bolivia, 30; and Christopher Nelson, 26, all of Cunupia. It was the prosecution’s case that on the day of the incident, the four men were seated outside a parlour playing dominoes when Bhagwandeen and another gunman approached and began shooting at them.
The three-month trial was not free of controversy as the State’s main witness, Yohan Cruickshank Samuel, claimed police had coerced him into pointing out Bhagwandeen during an identification parade in 2006. Samuel also was present during the incident and testified that he too was shot at but managed to escape the gunmen by hiding behind a shed.
Samuel, who was deemed a hostile witness by prosecutor Joy Balkaran, claimed when the matter came up for trial last year, he had a change of heart and wanted to tell the truth. He said he tried to tell the truth during the preliminary inquiry into the quadruple murder, which was held in the Chaguanas Magistrates Court in 2008, but claimed two police officers sat in the courtroom to intimidate him.
Samuel is now in remand after being charged with a murder in August last year. He claimed he was charged with the murder after he decided to change his testimony in the trial. The two officers who Samuel claimed forced his initial testimony were the investigators into the murders—Cpl Alexis Garcia and Insp Azan Hamid. Both were called upon to testify in the trial and they both denied Samuel’s allegations.
Bhagwandeen was defended by attorneys Michelle Solomon-Baksh and Raphael Morgan.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.