JURY FAILED TO AGREE: Murder accused Alert Chinapoo, second from left, is escorted out of the San Fernando High Court last night after the jury was unable to reach a verdict in his murder trial. A retrial was ordered. —Photo DEXTER PHILIP

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Judge orders retrial in Club Coconuts murder

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin

A retrial was last night ordered in the case of murder accused Alert Chinapoo, after a jury in the San Fernando High Court failed to agree on a verdict.

Chinapoo, who was 16 years old when he allegedly stabbed to death Club Coconuts DJ Nigel Karmody, went on trial last December 3 before Justice Carla Browne-Antoine, and a jury of 12 with two alternates.

It was the State's case that Chinapoo confessed to his involvement in the killing, which happened on January 12, 2003.

Karmody's body was found at Macaulay Road, Claxton Bay.

Chinapoo is alleged to have given a statement to police, in which he said that he went to a club in Marabella with friends.

In the statement, Chinapoo allegedly said when the group left, they picked up a man in Marabella.

"Me and the man get in an argument and he start to retaliate and I stab him. And Ricky stab him and then we tie him up and put him by a water tank in Claxton Bay," the statement said.

The State, led by attorney Anju Bhola, called 12 witnesses.

Chinapoo, who was defended by attorney Larry Williams and Micheal Rooplal, denied any involvement in the death or confessing to the crime.

The statement was never signed by Chinapoo or any police officer, the defence submitted.

The jury returned after three hours last evening and the foreman told Justice Browne-Antoine that if given further time, they would still be unable to reach a verdict.

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