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Jury instructed to set aside biases
A Cumuto man who accused another of stealing his drugs went on trial in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday. Fabian La Roche is before Justice Maria Wilson and a 12-member jury in the Port-of-Spain Sixth Assizes charged with the murder of 37-year-old Gary Irish. Irish, of Temple Street, Arima was stabbed five times in the back while liming with friends near his home on July 25, 2003. Irish died six days later. In her opening address to the jury and two alternates, prosecutor Erica Baptiste-Ramkissoon said after being arrested by police, two days after Irish was stabbed, La Roche wrote a confession statement admitting to the act.
Baptiste-Ramkissoon said in the statement, La Roche said he went to Temple Street to peddle his goods (marijuana). She said while there, La Roche said he was attacked by Irish who robbed him of his drugs. “He then said he caught him (Irish) and stabbed him four or five times in the back,” said Baptiste-Ramkissoon. The prosecutor warned the jury not to judge La Roche for his admission of selling marijuana but only consider the evidence presented at the trial.
“Leave your pre-conceived notions and biases outside the courtroom,” Baptiste-Ramkissoon said. Before the end of yesterday’s hearing, Irish’s sister Pauline was called as the first witness. Pauline testified that after her brother died, she identified his body at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. La Roche is being represented by attorneys Joseph George and Averell Francis.
The trial continues this morning.
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