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Man freed on charge of murdering friend
A jury in the Port-of-Spain High Court took a little less than two hours to acquit a 25-year-old man accused of murdering his friend during an altercation in 2005. Shadelle Duncan, of Arouca, walked out of the Hall of Justice a free man after spending almost seven years in remand while awaiting trial.
After being freed of the charge, a smiling Duncan was greeted by a group of relatives who attended every hearing in his two-month trial which was presided over by Justice Geoffrey Henderson. Duncan said: “I am very touched my family supported me throughout this case.” He described his time in prison as a learning experience. However, he was critical of the education programmes offered to young men in prison.
“I would say that the programmes are lacking and need to be fixed,” Duncan added. Asked about his plans for the future, he said he wanted to open an agriculture supplies store. Duncan was on trial for the murder of Roger Brizan, 18, of Bon Air Gardens, Arouca, who was stabbed to death at the corner of Waterloo Road and the Eastern Main Road, Arouca, on November 2, 2005.
Brizan’s parents who were in court for the trial and verdict were brought to tears. “I can’t understand how he kill my son and get away,” his father, Carl, said. The senior Brizan said he thought the prosecution’s case against Duncan was stronger. “Not even manslaughter for him. I just don’t understand,” Carl said.
According to the evidence presented, Duncan was liming with Brizan and two other friends when they got into an altercation. The court also heard Duncan carried a knife for protection after being robbed several months earlier. Their friend, Adrian Thompson, who was present during the incident claimed during the altercation Duncan attacked Brizan with the knife stabbing him three times in the chest.
“He (Duncan) was behaving like a wild animal. Like a mad bull,” Thompson said. In dismissing the charges against Duncan, the jury, accepted the arguments advanced by his defence attorney, Wayne Sturge, who said his client acted in self defence. Duncan was also represented by Hasine Sheik while Brent Winter prosecuted the case.
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