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Accused in Keyana killing absent from court

...Still undergoing mental evaluation

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

SIMONE WILLIAMS sat in the public gallery of the Arima First Magistrate’s Court yesterday when it was announced that twice as long as originally anticipated would be needed to assess the mental health of the man accused of killing her six-year-old daughter, Keyana.

Williams sighed.

Dwayne Lewis, 28, is currently before the Arima Magistrates’ Court charged with Keyana’s murder.

Lewis was Keyana’s stepfather.

Two Mondays ago, on December 16, Lewis appeared before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno charged with murdering Keyana.

On November 28, Keyana was found stuffed in a barrel inside her family’s Building Four, Maloney Gardens apartment after a manhunt had been launched for her.

An autopsy stated Keyana died from blunt-force trauma to the head and had been sexually assaulted.

Keyana was reported missing by Williams on November 25.

Lewis was taken into police custody on the day Keyana was reported missing.

On November 26, Lewis was rushed to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope after suffering with asthma. 

He was handcuffed to his hospital bed and was placed under police custody.

Lewis was officially charged with Keyana’s murder on December 10.

Five days after being formally charged with Keyana’s murder, Lewis appeared before Cedeno represented by attorney Fareed Ali.

Cedeno ordered that Lewis be sent to the St Ann’s Hospital for a 14-day assessment.

Lewis was expected to return to the Arima Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Around 9.24 a.m. Williams, accompanied by two male relatives, entered the Arima First Magistrate’s Court.

Around 11.12 a.m. Cedeno called Lewis’ matter.

Cedeno was informed that Lewis had not been brought to court.

Correspondence from the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital stated that a report into Lewis’ mental health was “not ready” and “more time is needed for that assessment”.

An additional 14-day period to assess Lewis’ mental health was requested by psychiatrists from St Ann’s.

Cedeno approved the additional time and Lewis was remanded at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital “in absentia”.

PC Gonzales, who charged Lewis, was present in court yesterday.

Gonzales had been absent on December 16 when the matter was first called.

Ali questioned Gonzales as to exactly when Lewis had become a suspect in the murder of Keyana.

Gonzales said he could not give a specific date at this time.

State Counsel from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is still to be assigned to the matter, the court heard.

The matter has been adjourned to January 13.

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