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Accused pleads guilty to killing man in bar row

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

JOEL SEERATTAN yesterday pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Morriso Sylvan at Erin five years ago.

Justice Anthony Carmona, who is presiding in San Fernando High Court, is expected to pass sentence next week Thursday.

It was the State's case that around 11.45 p.m. on July 6, 2007, Seerattan was at Cool Scene Bar in Erin when he, Sylvan and other men were involved in an argument. Seerattan was slapped and fell to the ground. He got up, took a knife from his pocket and stabbed Sylvan in the shoulder and then ran away.

The wound severed a main artery and Sylvan was pronounced dead at Point Fortin Area Hospital.

The accused later gave himself up to the police and was charged by detective Peter Ramdeen.

Defence attorney Richard Valere said it was a case of provocation.

"At the time of the incident, the victim was posing a threat to the accused.

He (Sylvan) had slapped him and (Sylvan and others) had surrounded him (Seerattan)," Valere said.

He said his client entered the guilty plea as he was sorry over the loss of life.

Valere suggested that Seerattan, 29, of Erin, be sentenced to a prison term of between three to ten years. But he also asked that the former fisherman be placed on a bond.

State attorney Mauriceia Joseph disagreed, outlining the sentencing regime in several similar cases.

Carmona remanded Seerattan in prison custody and adjourned the matter.

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