THE murder trial of Nigel Caraballo, accused of shooting to death Imo Pope outside a cocoa house in Moruga five years ago, began yesterday in San Fernando High Court.
Caraballo, also known as Nigel Reviero, 26, of Moruga, is before Justice Devant Rampersad charged with Pope's murder.
Pope, 26, was shot in the face on March 7, 2007.
In opening the prosecution's case, State attorney Shabana Shah said at around 7 a.m, on that day, Pope spoke to his friend Anton Alleyne and they both went to an old cocoa house along Moruga Old Road.
Shah said while there, Alleyne saw Caraballo walking along a track with a shotgun in hand.
"A few minutes later he heard a shot like a gunshot. He turned and saw the accused reloading a shotgun," Shah said.
She said Alleyne got up and ran. Alleyne heard another shot and felt a burning sensation in his arm and chest. The State counsel said Alleyne, who took a maxi-taxi to the police station, spoke to his brother who went to the cocoa house and came across Pope's body.
Shah yesterday called draughtsman Sergeant Gregory Hood as the first witness in the case. He is expected to continue giving evidence today.
Caraballo is being represented by senior counsel Sophia Chote and Trevor Clarke.
Before Shah opened the case, Chote requested that members of the jury be asked whether they knew one another.
Two jurors, the foreman and the man seated next him, told the court they were co-workers.
Chote said while both had no control over the jury selection process, one of the men should be substituted.
Shah made no objection and Rampersad said, out of caution, juror number two should be substituted with an alternate juror.