HIGH Court judge Justice James Aboud has dismissed the challenge against extradition of a 26-year-old Trinidad man who is wanted in the United States for murdering three people, attempting to murder a fourth, and illegally possessing a firearm.
Keron Pierre, of Richplain Road, Diego Martin, through his attorneys Keith Scotland, Asha Watkins and Daniel Khan, has given notice of an intention to appeal yesterday's ruling by Aboud.
Attorneys Jagdeo Singh and Michael Rooplal, who represented the Office of the Attorney General, gave an undertaking to the court that Pierre would not be extradited before his appeal was heard and determined.
Pierre's attorneys had argued that the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, which may be imposed upon Pierre if he is found guilty, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
It was also contended that the sentence is unknown to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and unconstitutional.
In his ruling, Aboud said those issues should be canvassed before the Attorney General whose responsibility it is to sign the warrant of extradition.
The judge said it would be premature for the High Court to deal with such issues. He said even if he had the jurisdiction to uphold the submissions made on Pierre's behalf, he would have refused to exercise his discretion to do so.
Aboud added that he did not agree with the submission that the possible sentence which could be imposed on Pierre would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
"This is not a case of a man involved in a mercy killing," Aboud said.
"This is not a man who killed in self-defence."
Aboud said if the prosecution proved its case against Pierre, the crime could only be described as hateful and merciless.
Pierre is wanted in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, for the 2009 murders of Anthony Peoples, 19, of Boston, Shakora Gaines, 20, and Chantal Palmer, 20, both of Brockton, outside a house party in Boston.
According to a provisional warrant for extradition dated November 4, 2010, and signed by Assistant District Attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Mark T Lee, Pierre shot and killed Peoples, Gaines and Palmer at 41 Mt Ida Road, Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts on the morning of March 29, 2009 and attempted to murder Sharon Headley on the same day.
Court documents stated that shortly after 4 a.m., the victims decided to leave the house party, but left without another friend who had come with them earlier in the night.
Once they realised their friend was still inside, they went back to pick him up. As they pulled up outside the house, Pierre and some of his friends who were present blocked the path of the car. Following an exchange of words between the victims and a member of Pierre's group, Pierre pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and began firing into the car.
Pierre was arrested in September 2010 in Diego Martin allegedly with a quantity of marijuana in his possession by PC Joseph of the West End Division Task Force.
It was while officers were conducting a criminal background trace of him, that they realised he was wanted in the United States.