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Truck driver killed for gold earrings

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dangling gold earrings cost truck driver Kern Joseph his life yesterday, when a thief shot him dead in front of several witnesses before stealing his jewelry and running through a track.

Joseph, 35, of Parakeet Boulevard, Pleasantville, died instantly after being shot in the head. A witness who requested anonymity said at about 9.30 am, Joseph parked his truck and went out to the Pleasantville Village Plaza to get two men to help load the vehicle.

About ten minutes later, he was spotted walking up the boulevard. The killer was walking next to him and it appeared as if he was hassling Joseph.

Another witness who requested anonymity said Joseph started to run when the man pulled out a gun. Three loud gunshots were heard and Joseph fell to the ground.

As he lay dying, the thief stooped down, ripped off Joseph’s earrings, stole his wallet and then fled through a track nearby.

Villagers said robberies along the boulevard were prevalent.

“People walking home with their groceries get robbed. There is a track where the thieves could run off. This place known for robberies,” one man said.

Joseph’s grandmother, Sheila, was trembling with grief when the T&T Guardian visited the family’s home. With her head lolling from side to side, Sheila whispered, “Oh God no, I can’t talk to you right now sweetie. My grandson, my last grandson, is dead. I cannot deal with this.”

She was then led inside by a relative.

Joseph’s brother, Keldon, arrived shortly after and hugged his weeping grandmother. Keldon said Joseph drove the truck for their cousin Devon Hendley, a private contractor. Saying his brother had no enemies, Keldon said he was baffled about the killing.

One of Joseph’s friends said Joseph loved to wear the earrings although they were flashy.

Describing Joseph as a respected and caring person, the friend called on the police to solve the murder.

The assailant, who was captured on video footage, was described as being about five feet nine inches and dark in complexion. He was wearing a black tee-shirt, blue three-quarter pants and a black cap low over his face.

Joseph’s body remained lying on the side walk for two hours before it was removed to the Forensic Science Centre, St James. An autopsy will be done today. 

Officers from the San Fernando CID and Homicide Region III responded to the killing. Senior Supt Adeleine Pesnel and Insp Don Gajadhar of the Operations Unit are heading investigations.