Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2014 Contents A9
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The Appeal Court yesterday vacated the death
sentence against a convicted murderer and substi-
tuted 20 years in jail.
The four years and two months David Abraham
spent in jail awaiting trial will be subtracted from
his jail term.
He was convicted with Julia Esmeralda Sellier
Appeal Court vacates death sentence
20 years' jail for convicted killer
Ramdeen, also called J-Lo, for the murder
of National Helicopter Services Ltd courier
Carlos Phillip. They were convicted on July
Eight months ago, Ramdeen s death sen-
tence was also commuted to life in prison.
The two reportedly killed Phillip between
December 23 and 25, 2003, at Longdenville.
Phillip was last seen alive on December 23,
He was lured to meet Ramdeen with the
promise of sex. His nude body was found
in a pond on December 25, 2003. He had
been bound and gagged.
The State s case was based on the tes-
timony of Junior Bruzual who was granted
immunity from prosecution.
In arriving at the decision, the Appeal
Court---comprising Justices Paula Mae
Weekes, Alice Yorke Soo-Hon and Rajendra
Narine---took into consideration Abraham s
age at the time of the incident, 24; that
Ramdeen was "far more experienced in the
ways of the world"; he had no prior con-
victions or pending charges at the time of
arrest; his employment history as an appren-
tice in the family s upholstering business
and his remorse.
A probation officer s report said Abraham s
risk of re-offending was assessed to be low.
It is believed that Phillip contacted
Ramdeen, who ran a call-girl business, to
make arrangements for a threesome with
her and another woman.
Ramdeen, who was arrested on January
23, 2004, reportedly confessed to the killing.
In her written statement to police, Ramdeen
said she agreed to the threesome.
However, when Phillip arrived, he began
acting in a drunk and aggressive manner,
and a fight ensued in which she hit him
with a brick on the head.
Ramdeen told police she called a friend
to ask his advice and was directed to kill
Phillip, which she did by cutting and stab-
bing him in the neck with a knife.
She said that friend and his friend helped
her dispose of his body.
The group calling itself the
Project 40 Movement, which sup-
ports the Highway Re-route
Movement, is asking for 400 peo-
ple to gather outside Parliament
at the Waterfront Complex in
Port-of-Spain today in support
of good governance.
The initiative, which the group
has called Stand, is scheduled for
Members of Project 40 com-
pleted their 40-day relay fast two
weeks ago at the HRM s campsite,
outside the Office of the Prime
Minister in St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
A statement from the group yes-
terday said, "For generations, the
apathy and silence of our citizens
has led to a culture of rampant cor-
ruption within our government and
society. We can only make a change
if we come together and stand, let-
ting our leaders know we are awake
and unwilling to tolerate anything
less than model governance."
It also called on members of
civil-society organisations to join
today s event.
Founder of the Adult Literacy
Tutors Association (ALTA) Paula
Lucie-Smith, who has been the
spokesman for the civil society
groups, said despite her busy
schedule she would find time to
take part to show her support.
Describing the initiative as
important, Lucie-Smith also urged
citizens to take a stand in the inter-
est of accountability and trans-
parency. She said even if a small
number of people turned out it
would still be a success.
"Like most people, at this time
of the year my schedule is very
packed, but we need to keep per-
tinent issues and the whole call
very much on the front burner.
As for the purpose of the
demonstration, "The entire issue
is not just the building of a highway
but looking at how decisions are
made and better spending," Lucie-
Saying it was normally the cul-
ture of citizens to simply accept
what was "dished out to them,"
Lucie-Smith said as the nation
matured she hoped this would
"If this continues it would mean
that the wealth would only be con-
centrated in the hands of a few.
Project 40 has specifically been
targeting young people, and this is
good, because we have had disin-
terest from young people...so it s
really something positive," Lucie-
She also expressed concern about
falling oil prices, saying if this con-
tinued the funding of many NGOs
would be slashed.
"We can only do that kind of
work if we have the resources to
do. So much money has been spent
with no positive results. Take for
instance the controversial LifeSport
programme." (See Page A10)
Project 40 members in protest action
Taking a stand for good governance
"We can only make
a change if we
come together and
stand, letting our
leaders know we
are awake and
less than model
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