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Bail with curfew for teen accused of killing sister

Thursday, March 27, 2014
The brother of shooting victim, Murchannah Lavia, is hidden from media photographers by relatives as he left the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The teenager accused of killing his sister with an unlicensed gun was ordered yesterday to report to school regularly and be back home by 6 pm as part of his bail conditions on a charge of manslaughter. The 15-year-old, who is charged with unlawfully killing his 14-year-old sister, Murchannah Lavia, on March 19 was granted $90,000 bail when he appeared before chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday. His identity cannot be revealed as he is a child under the law.



The teen’s court appearance came the day after his sister was laid to rest. Police are yet to recover the gun in the case. As a bail condition he has to report to the West End Police Station twice a week and has a 6 pm curfew. The Fourth Form pupil is also ordered to report to his secondary school or, if changed, an educational facility promptly and regularly after the chief magistrate was told he had missed school for two weeks before the date of the offence. 


Court prosecutor Sgt Timothy also told the magistrate he had been suspended twice from school for disrespecting a teacher and for fighting. Ayers-Caesar also ordered he must see a probation officer so that he, and by extension his family, could receive counselling. The boy, who was brought to court shortly after 10 am yesterday sat with his head bowed for most of the appearance and was seen fighting back tears.


The boy’s attorney, Allan Meiguel, said his client lived at Block 9, Stoer Drive, Petit Valley, which had degenerated into a crime hotspot. He added his client and his sister were “inseparable” and “the reality of the situation has come to bear on him.” “In reality this child is in need of counselling and love from his family. There is no useful purpose in having him in prison. The family does not need to lose both children,” Meiguel said, adding his client is asthmatic.


He asked for the boy to be granted reasonable bail so that his parents, who between them are working three jobs and saving to relocate to Cunupia, might be able to afford it. He said his client’s family and extended family have assured they would bring the teen to court. On the issues related to his schooling, Meiguel said those that were not already resolved were being resolved.  


After granting bail Ayers-Caesar warned if he did not adhere to the conditions she would use her discretion and revoke the bail and remand him for the duration of the case. He was then ordered to reappear on April 24. 


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