DIDN'T TAKE THE STAND: Nigel Caraballo was yesterday found guilty of the murder of Anthony Imo Pope. —Photo TREVOR WATSON

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Guilty of murder

Jury finds cocoa-house shooter...

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

HE claimed mistaken identity but yesterday, the jury took only an hour to find Nigel Caraballo guilty of the murder of Imo Anthony Pope, who was shot in the face outside a cocoa house back in 2007.

Caraballo's three-week trial was heard before Justice Devant Rampersad and a jury of three women and nine men in the San Fernando Third Criminal Court.

State attorney Shabana Shah called 23 witnesses in the case against Caraballo, 26, also known as Nigel Reviero.

Witness Anton Alleyne said he was smoking marijuana with Pope before he was killed on March 7, 2007 at the Moruga Old Road.

During the autopsy, the pellet from a shotgun was found embedded in the left side of Pope's skull.

The weapon was never found.

Alleyne who was also shot during the incident, testified in the magistrates, court that he heard the loud explosion, turned and saw Caraballo reloading the gun.

But he changed this part of his story during the trial, and Shah had to treat him as a hostile witness.

Caraballo's 90-year-old neighbour Issador Navarro also testified.

Navarro said he saw Caraballo passing his house with a "long gun" and soon after heard two gunshots.

Navarro, who confessed that he had a problem with his sight after an accident years before the murder, testified that he spoke to Caraballo about the shooting. He told the court that Caraballo said he knew nothing about it.

Caraballo opted to exercise his right not to take the stand in the trial and he called no witnesses.

The defence claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and Caraballo was at work at the time of the shooting.

Caraballo was represented by Senior Counsel Sophia Chote and attorney Trevor Clarke.

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