Friday, January 19, 2018

'I was hunting in Moruga that day'

Samdaye Rampersad kidnap accused denies plot


testified: Phillip Boodram

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PHILLIP "The Boss" Boodram finally got his day in court yesterday and testified that on the day that he is accused of ordering the kidnapping of Samdaye Rampersad, he was out hunting.

It took all of two months for the case to reach this point and Boodram, the father of nine children, wasted no time in telling the 12-member jury that he was out hunting in Petrotrin compound, Moruga, with three of his friends, when the State claims he plotted to kidnap Rampersad.

Rampersad, 45, was snatched outside of her Irving Street, Petit Bourg, home on November 26, 2005, and her body was exhumed from a shallow grave at a cashew field in Claxton Bay on January 5, 2006.

Boodram testified that he left the hunting camp the Sunday evening (November 27, 2005) and added that the only time that he saw Rampersad was in a newspaper article.

Boodram, 43, of Fifth Street, New Settlement Dow Village, California, told his attorney, Pamela Elder, SC, that he knew the State's main witness, Ryan Nigel "Supercat" Roderique, only as "Cat", and that Roderique had tried to extort money from him and three of his nephews for the killing of Errol "Baby" Samuel in 1998.

Boodram added that he was arrested and questioned for that murder, but was never charged.

Under cross-examination by special prosecutor Gilbert Peterson, SC, Boodram said "Cat" could never have been close enough to him to witness what he claimed that he witnessed. He bluntly told Peterson that "Cat" could not have been anywhere around him after he tried to extort money from him almost 11 years ago.

Boodram added that he knew five of his co-accused because two of them worked for him and the others he knew from around the village and added that he would never encourage any of them to engage in wrongdoing.

"Cat make up the whole thing," he told Peterson when confronted with the State's version of Rampersad's killing.

Boodram then described the incident of him sitting on Rampersad's back and pulling back her hair, which according to the State's case broke her back, as "a strange thing".

He added that the only time that he remembered what he had done that weekend of the murder, was one year after he was charged, when Roderique testified against him the Couva Magistrates' Court. He added that it was thanks to his family and friends that he remembered what he did.

Before Boodram took the stand before Justice Rajendra Narine, in the Second Criminal Court, yesterday, Peterson cross-examined defence witness Prof Hubert Daisley, who disputed the findings of fellow pathologist Hughvon Des Vignes.

According to the State's case. Boodram—along with Kervin "Arc Eye" Williams, Vivian "Clarkie" Clarke, Aaron "Kenna" Grappie, Steve "Boops" McGilvery, Pernell Martin, Rickey Singh, Roger Mootoo and Bobby Sankar—is responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Rampersad.

The matter continues today.