ALL those who were on duty at the Defence Force Headquarters in Chaguaramas the night Lance Corporal Curtis Marshall was murdered have been locked down at base while homicide detectives conduct their investigations.
So said Major Al Alexander, the civil military affairs officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF, in a telephone interview with the Express yesterday.
At 11.40 p.m. on December 29, last year Lance Corporal Marshall was found lying unconscious in the vicinity of the Clothing and Equipment Stores at the Defence Force Headquarters.
Initial attempts to revive Marshall by military personnel were unsuccessful.
Marshall, 30, was taken via ambulance to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Cocorite.
Further efforts were made unsuccessfully to resuscitate Marshall at the hospital.
Marshall was eventually pronounced dead at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital.
An autopsy on Marshall conducted at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park on Monday listed the cause of death as strangulation.
A second autopsy was yesterday performed at the SD Simpson Memorial Funeral Chapel located along the Eastern Main Road in Laventille.
The second autopsy yesterday corroborated the fact that Marshall was murdered.
It stated that Marshall sustained several kicks to the back of his head.
The autopsy was yesterday witnessed by Marshall's wife Ashlyn John-Marshall, and several officers of the TTDF.
The Express visited the Funeral Chapel yesterday but John-Marshall was too distraught to speak.
The officers refused to comment.
Friends and relatives of Marshall yesterday took to the streets and staged a fiery protest calling for "Justice for Curtis".
One woman and two men were detained during the protest action. Police said the woman bit an officer as she tried to evade arrest but eyewitnesses claimed it was a case of police abuse after the woman tried to take a photo with her cellphone of a man being assaulted.
Police said the 21-year-old woman, of Carenage, will likely be charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and using obscene language.
During the protest tyres were burnt along the Eastern Main Road in Petit Bourg, a stone's throw away from Marshall's home.
Marshall's family and friends clapped, shouted and sang as they called for a thorough investigation into his murder.
Police officers blocked the Eastern Main Road from Broome Street to Irving Street as fire officers attempted to extinguish the burning debris.
Traffic was diverted from the Eastern Main Road.
"A little more tyres on the road, keep them burning. A little more tyres on the road we say. A little more tyres on the road, keep them burning. Keep them burning till we get justice," they sang to a rhythm beaten on an old crix tin.
The residents braved the rains to ensure their voices were heard.
"Look the heavens crying because they know was Curtis killed!" a woman shouted.
Marshall's brother Dennis said the family needed to get justice especially for his niece.
Marshall has a five-year-old daughter named Curtlyn.
"They (the TTDF) knows what going on. They hiding it and we need to get justice for Curtis," Dennis said.
Winston "Shortman" O'Neil, one of Marshall's neighbours, said the residents would not let the issue be "swept under the carpet".
"We letting them (the TTDF) know from up-front that this situation will not be swept under the carpet. We know some people would say that this (the fiery protest) does not make sense but we want them to know that we are serious and we are taking action from day one," O'Neil said.
"If we do not see results this is going to happen again," he said.
Alexander yesterday told the Express that the TTDF and Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj will ensure that everything is done to ensure that Marshall's death is thoroughly investigated.
"It is the first time something of this nature has occurred and it has really impacted the organisation and all of our resources are geared right now to bringing some kind of resolution to this issue," Alexander said yesterday.
"The Chief of Defence Staff has expressed his commitment to seeing this through and providing all of the support that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service requires to bring resolution to this issue," he said.
Alexander said all the persons who were on duty at the time of Marshall's death were called back to base.
They all returned and were accounted for.
"All the persons who shared that duty with Corporal Marshall we brought all of those persons in to be interviewed by the police," Alexander said.
"Unfortunately you are aware now that a homicide investigation has begun so the investigator is there and we are facilitating the interviews. All the persons who worked on the night, all of those persons are being interviewed at present. All have come in," Alexander said.
Marshall, whose total service in the TTDF was eight years and four months, was part of the Payroll Department.
—with reporting by Carla Bridglal