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Retrial in murder case

...Hung jury

By Port of Spain - Rickie Ramdass rickie.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

AFTER a full three hours of deliberations, a 12-member jury failed to arrive at a unanimous verdict in a murder trial at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, where a Maraval man was accused of shooting to death two other men in 2007.
The foreman of the jury informed High Court Justice David Harris, after their deliberations, the jurors were unable to arrive at a verdict and would be unable to arrive at one even if additional time were given to them.
This resulted in Justice Harris ordering a retrial against 28-year-old Jayvon Charles, for the murder of Wilfred Mohammed and Anthony Boodoo on December 1, 2007, in St James.
Mohammed and Boodoo were both shot and killed at the corner of Francis and Perigord Roads, in Long Circular, while liming with friends and drinking alcohol.
The State’s case was that Mohammed, Boodoo, Harold Joseph and Sheldon Bernard were liming along the roadway, when two men approached and opened fire.
Boodoo was pronounced dead at the scene, while Mohammed succumbed to his injuries at Port of Spain General Hospital some time later.
Joseph was the State’s main witness and gave five statements to police, saying Charles was the shooter.
However, Joseph did not testify during the preliminary enquiry at the Magistrates’ Court, nor at the trial, having died before the enquiry got started.
The defence team of attorneys, comprising Wayne Sturge, Mario Merritt and Alexia Romero, argued Joseph was consuming alcohol at the time of the incident so his frame of mind was questionable and also, because of his death, he could not have been cross-examined.
They further submitted Bernard, who was also a State witness, was unable to point out Charles during an identification parade.
However, Lennox Alexander, the defence’s sole witness, testified at the trial he had known Charles for the past nine years and he (Charles) was not the one who carried out the murders.
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