GUILTY: Marlon King, who was found guilty yesterday of murdering his four-year-old stepdaughter, Amy Annamunthodo, leaves the San Fernando High Court following the verdict. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

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CHILD KILLER

Amy’s stepdad to hang for murder of four-year-old

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

MOMENTS before the guilty verdict yesterday, child killer Marlon King moved to stop the decision being delivered to offer evidence he thought might save him from the hangman’s noose.
The man who tortured, abused and beat to death four-year-old Amy Annamunthodo, interrupted the jury forewoman to say that the San Fernando General Hospital was to blame for the condition of the child’s battered body.
“My Lord one minute. I want to explain. I want to explain myself now.”
But as he paused, the guilty verdict was announced.
The trial spanned five months, and heard from 16 State witness and two defence witnesses, but it took the jury only two hours to return with the verdict.
The State proved that on May 15, 2006, King tied Amy’s hair to a piece of cloth and strung her to a door frame at his Ste Madeleine Road, Marabella home. He then gagged the child with a knotted plastic bag, and punched her about her body with his clenched fists 20 to 30 times.
The witness to the beating was Andre Rocke, who testified for the State.
King and Amy’s mother, Anita Annamunthodo, took the child’s corpse to the hospital that night.
The attending doctor, Dr Kris Pulchan, found the child’s body had already stiffened, and bore bruises covering her body and cigarette burns to her chest, abdomen, back and genitals.
Pathologist Dr Hughvon des Vignes found lacerations, tears, bleeding, scrapes and bruises on Amy’s brain, neck, eye, chest, shoulder, palm and back of her right hand, her heart, lungs, spleen, liver, adrenalin glands, kidney, abdomen, pelvic area, upper, mid, and lower back, and bottom.
King denied all of it, claiming that he had spent time that day with Amy. He said he found Amy during the day in a bedroom “humming and crying” before she defecated in her underwear and he made her clean up herself.
King said when the child’s mother came home, he left to visit a neighbour, and was called back by Anita Annamunthodo to find that Amy “stretch out just so”.
He said he never once struck Amy. The State brought his ex-wife to testify that she had been beaten naked in the road by him, and that King had sex with her, while an infant with in their bedroom.
The court also learnt that King—a security guard and the father of three children ages 13, 15, and 24—often allowed couples to have sex at his house.
After spending five days summing up the case, yesterday Anthony Carmona reminded jurors that they had the option of returning a manslaughter verdict if they believed King was provoked into killing Amy because she had defecated and was crying, and because King had a toothache.
When the jury returned to deliver the verdict, King smiled and looked around the courtroom. King’s sister and Amy’s grandfather were the only relatives in court.
After the guilty verdict was announced, King ignored his defence attorney El Farouk Hosein.
With a document in hand, he told Carmona: “This is my case. He (Hosein) can’t explain what I want to explain. Dr Pulchan said...that rigor mortis might set in within one hour or two. If you know the coldness at the San Fernando General Hospital Casualty, (that is what) set that child in rigor mortis in less than two hours”.
Carmona answered by explaining to King that he would suffer death by hanging.
Carmona later clarified the reason for the case stalling for weeks back in January, telling the jurors that the trial, which began last September, was on the brink of being aborted.
Carmona said the court needed to have a piece of medical evidence clarified for there to be a fair trial.
He said there was evidence that a Marlon King had been admitted to the psychiatric ward at the hospital and there was also information that a person with the same name had been treated for an appendicitis and a poisonous sting.
Carmona said it turned out that there were two Marlon Kings. The one admitted to Ward One was not Marlon King, the child murderer. Carmona said the record keeping system at the hospital was in a “deplorable state of affairs”.
The State’s case was prosecuted by Mauriceia Joseph.
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