Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Killer Among Us

CCTV footage shows soldier's last moments; comrades worried

FAMILY members of Lance Corporal Curtis Marshall were yesterday shown video footage of the murdered soldier taking his final breaths.

At 11. 40 p.m. on December 29, Marshall was found lying unconscious in the vicinity of the Clothing and Equipment Stores at Defence Force Headquarters, Chaguaramas.

Marshall, 31, was rushed via ambulance to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Cocorite, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

On Monday, an autopsy conducted at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, by pathologist Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris stated that Marshall’s death was due to strangulation.

On Tuesday, the preliminary results of a second autopsy—at SD Simpson Memorial Funeral Chapel in Laventille, by Dr Hubert Daisley—confirmed the results of the first autopsy.

On that same day, Marshall’s family and friends staged a fiery protest calling for “justice for Curtis”.

The investigation into Marshall’s murder is being led by Sgt Sheldene Bacchus of Region One Homicide.

Marshall’s brother, Dennis, said the family was satisfied the matter was being investigated by homicide detectives.

On Tuesday, Bacchus began interviewing all those present on the night of Marshall’s murder. All those who were on duty were required to come into camp.

“The base is running as normal, and we are ensuring that the police are able to investigate the matter properly,” said Major Al Alexander, civil military affairs officer of Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF).

Dennis Marshall, however, is calling for his brother’s killer to surrender.

“We are happy the matter has gone to the police, but the fact is the killers know themselves and it is best they come forward and surrender,” he said.

He expressed confidence in Bacchus being able to find his brother’s killer.

And Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj yesterday addressed those on duty at TTDF Headquarters, where Marshall was killed, the Express has learned.

According to a source, Maharaj warned that “no cover-up of any kind” will be allowed in the matter.

Maharaj also took questions from those present.

“The mood was sombre, people are concerned, people are scared that there is a killer among us,” the source stated.

Major Alexander confirmed Maharaj met with those at headquarters.

Alexander said the fact that the two autopsies have stated Marshall was murdered was “unnerving”.

Daisley visited TTDF headquarters to merge his “scientific findings with physical evidence”, Alexander said.

Video footage from closed-circuit cameras on the TTDF compound were handed over to Bacchus.

The video footage was also shown to Dennis Marshall when he met with Alexander at TTDF headquarters.

“The video showed from the side of the container where he (Marshall) was working. He made two steps and he fell. That did not look good,” Dennis said.

The video did not show what led to Marshall’s eventual collapse.

“You are also seeing a man, a driver come about ten minutes after. The man had a plate and a cup. Then after you seeing the man watch the body, he went and put down the cup and the plate, come back, watch the body, take a smoke and he watching the body,” Dennis said.

Help was eventually called for Marshall.

Alexander assured the Marshall family the investigation into the soldier’s murder would be “very transparent”.

“We are just as anxious as the family to bring this issue to a resolution. Everything we have we are sharing with them. This investigation will be open and transparent,” Alexander said.

As a mark of respect for Marshall, the TTDF’s annual cocktail party, which was scheduled for tomorrow, has been cancelled.

“We already sent over 500 invitations for our annual cocktail party, but we cannot be feteing in the same place where our brother was killed,” Alexander said.

Marshall will be laid to rest tomorrow with full military rites.

The funeral service is scheduled to be held at Church of Christ on Ryan Street in San Juan.

Marshall will be laid to rest at St James Military Cemetery following the service.

His family and friends last evening staged a candle light vigil for him. When the opening prayer at the vigil was about to be said, a man lost control of his vehicle and slammed into two of the participants.

The accident occurred along Bushe Street, a stone’s throw away from Marshall’s family home.

Two young men believed to be teenagers were injured in the accident.

The vigil, which was originally scheduled to start at 7 p.m., was delayed because of the accident.

Editor's Note: The wrong article was previously posted in error, which has since been corrected. We regret any inconvenience caused.