AT his second trial for murdering a Chaguanas taxi driver 11 years ago, Ramzan Bachan was yesterday found guilty on the lesser count of manslaughter.
Bachan, in 2006, was found guilty of murder and had the death sentence read to him. However, his conviction and sentence was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2007 and a retrial was ordered.
The manslaughter verdict was delivered by the foreman of the 12-member jury in the First Criminal Court at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain.
Bachan, of Guppy Hill Trace, Union Village, Mayaro, is expected to be sentenced by Justice Prakash Moosai on August 15.
The taxi driver, 45-year-old Elwyn Sampson, left his Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas home at around 4.20 a.m. on November 21, 2001. It was his first day on the job. The next time he was seen by his family members, he was dead having sustained a gaping wound to his throat.
Bachan was one of three men who entered at Curepe and sat in the back seat of the car driven by Sampson.
One of them, Joshua Ramnath, then 15-years-old, testified against Bachan.
Ramnath was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his evidence. The other man, Daniel Goolcharan reached a plea agreement with the State and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2006 and was sentenced to five years in jail.
The court heard that the three boarded Sampson's taxi, which was heading to Chaguanas, and hijacked him along the Uriah Butler Highway. Ramnath said he saw Bachan slit Sampson's throat with a knife.
Sampson's body was discovered later that day at the side of the northbound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway in the Guayamare area.
The wound to Sampson's neck was so severe that it extended from one side of his neck to the other cutting through his windpipe, oesophagus and muscles. Sampson also sustained two rib fractures.
His wife, Joy Sampson testified that her husband intended plying the Chaguanas to Curepe route having been given the car to work.
Another witness, Merle Rogers-Wiggins told the court that the taxi which Sampson was driving belonged to her husband Leon Wiggins. Rogers-Wiggins said an arrangement was made for Sampson to work the taxi and pay her on a daily basis.
Leading evidence on behalf of the State were attorneys Mauriceia Joseph and Danielle Thompson while attorney Joseph Pantor defended Bachan.