Thursday, January 18, 2018

Three teens, 12-year-old in court for murder


IN CUSTODY: Stefan Frederick, 18, is escorted to the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday. Frederick is charged alongside three minors for the murder of Dulraj Deodath, 54, at his Diego Martin home earlier this month. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

Mark Fraser

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy and his 16-year-old sister were among four people who appeared in court yesterday charged with the murder of mechanic Dulraj Boyan Deodath, who was bludgeoned to death at his Diego Martin home earlier this month.

The other two accused are a 16-year-old boy and 18-year-old Stefan Frederick. Given the ages of the other three, their names or addresses cannot be published by law to protect their identities.

In addition to murdering Deodath, 54, they were also accused of robbing him of a $150,000 Toyota Dyna truck, a leaf blower valued at $2,000, a $400 watch and a bank card valued at $25.

The girl was brought to the courthouse by homicide detectives shortly after 10 a.m. from the Belmont Police Station while the other three arrived an hour later from separate stations in the Western Division.

Prior to the matter being called before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Port of Spain Eighth Court at 11.30 a.m., the four were seen seated in the courtroom’s prisoners’ dock chatting and laughing.

When the matter was called, relatives of the minors were asked by Ayers-Caesar to stand at their sides as the charges were read.

They were all accused of murdering and robbing Deodath sometime between January 16 and 19 at his Sea Trace, Bagatelle, home.

All of the charges were laid indictably, and as a result, none of the accused were called upon to plead.

Asked his age, Frederick, who lives in Bagatelle initially told the magistrate he was 17 years old. However, homicide detectives who were in the courtroom informed Ayers-Caesar he was actually one month short of his 19th birthday before providing a copy of his birth certificate to the court.

Defence attorney Criston Chandler, who represented all four accused, told the court he was asking that the relevant files be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC for the purpose of a State attorney to be appointed and for disclosure to be made.

Deodath’s body was discovered in one of the bedrooms of his home on January 18, by one of his relatives. A bloody hammer was found nearby.

Frederick was remanded into custody at the Golden Grove Prison in Arouca, while the girl was remanded to the Women’s Prison, also located in Arouca. The other two boys were sent to the Youth Training Centre (YTC).

They will next appear in court on February 26.