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Shawn Marcelline murder trial

By \\\\\ Nikita Braxton nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

THE MAN whose maxi-taxi Juliet Victoria Cummings entered moments before she was murdered testified yesterday in the trial of the accused killer.

Witness Roger Jitta told Justice Norton Jack and the jury hearing the case against Shawn Marcelline in the San Fernando Second Criminal Court that he heard Cummings telling someone, “Yuh better don’t follow meh here,” as she entered his vehicle on August 2, 2011, at the taxi stand in Princes Town.

Jitta said he had heard a man asking Cummings if she had put him in court over child maintenance.

The two people, who Jitta said he had not known before the incident, sat behind him in the vehicle.

Jitta said it was not a “heated exchange” between the two but their voices were raised.

He said when Cummings spoke, she looked “like someone fed up”.

Jitta testified he felt the vehicle rocking and saw a man cuffing Cummings. Two men in the maxi taxi ran out, Jitta said.

He said he only realised there was a blade when Cummings was stabbed in her eye.

Jitta said he told the man to leave the woman alone and got his cellphone and called the Princes Town Police Station but this number was busy. He also called the emergency number 999.

He said, “All I could have seen was the man holding her and dragging her across the back of the maxi. It was so confusing with everybody around. People were screaming and I was trying to get on to the police.”

Jitta said he made no physical attempt to assist.

Cummings, 41, who was Marcelline’s wife of 15 years, was stabbed 19 times. An autopsy found she had wounds to her face, neck, scalp, jaw, hands and arms.

Jitta said two days later he went to an identification parade but he was unable to positively identify Cummings’s killer.

It is the State’s case, led by attorney Trevor Jones, that Marcelline, 44 a pipe-fitter, told police officers, “I see my wife yesterday by KFC and she tell meh I will have to live in jail because she put meh in court for maintenance, and ah doh know what happen after that, but Petra (Marcelline’s sister) them say ah kill she.”

Simone Mendoza, Cummings’s mother, also testified yesterday.

She spoke of May 16, the last day Marcelline spent at the home he shared with Cummings, downstairs Mendoza’s New Grant house.

She said on that day her daughter called out to her and when she went downstairs, found Cummings crying, with marks around her neck.

She said she saw a piece of wood on the ground and Marcelline had something in his hand. She took Cummings and four children upstairs and called  the police.

Marcelline was arrested that night.

The case is expected to continue today.

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