Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2015 Contents A5
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Almost two weeks after 16-year-
old Jernice Francis was stabbed to
death in an apparent case of mis-
taken identity, the 18-year-old
woman accused of committing the
crime is expected to appear in
court this morning.
Police sources said detectives
from the Region One Homicide
Bureau were at the Office of the
Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) up to late yesterday as they
sought advice on possible charges
for the suspect.
The teen was expected to be
charged late yesterday in time to
be taken to the Port-of-Spain Mag-
istrate s Court this morning.
Francis was attacked while walk-
ing along Bowen Trace, Snake Val-
ley, Laventille, on August 12.
According to police reports, Fran-
cis and her friend were walking
along the road when the attacker
walked up behind them and said
something to them.
They reportedly responded and
continued walking. The attacker
rushed Francis and stabbed her in
Francis began screaming as her
friend rushed to her assistance,
telling her attacker she had attacked
the wrong person.
Francis was later taken to the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital
where she died while undergoing
treatment. The suspect, from
Beetham Gardens, fled the scene
and evaded police capture for
almost a week.
Last Wednesday she surrendered
to the host of the popular Beyond
the Tape television show, Insp Roger
Alexander, in Port-of-Spain.
The suspect allegedly told
Alexander that Francis friend was
her intended victim and the attack
was the result of a dispute between
the two over a man.
Woman accused of stabbing teen over man in court
The lawyer representing 11 men
accused of murdering Senior Coun-
sel Dana Seetahal has complained
that some of his clients are being
subjected to "inhumane" conditions
while on remand.
Attorney Criston J Williams made
the complaint to Chief Magistrate
Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday
morning as his clients reappeared
before her in the Port-of-Spain
Eighth Magistrate s Court.
As he revealed that former Life-
Sport co-ordinator Rajaee Ali has
been kept in solitary confinement
at the Port-of-Spain State Prison at
Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, since
December last year, Williams said
such isolation could be considered
While Ali was only charged with
Seetahal s murder last month, he
has been in remand since last year
after being charged with unrelated
charges for conspiring to murder
radio announcer Kevaughn "Lurbz"
In addition to Ali s treatment in
prison, Williams also took issue with
prisoner transportation arrangement
for Ali s older brother, Hamid, with
whom he is jointly charged for See-
tahal s murder.
Williams said because of Hamid s
portly figure he has difficulties in
entering and exiting the single-pris-
oner enclosure of the transport
trucks and is constantly injured every
time the drivers come to a stop.
While she made note of the com-
plaints, Ayers-Caesar said she did
not have the power to intervene.
Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, also
acknowledged the issues raised by
Williams and agreed to raise it with
prison authorities once Williams
makes an official request through
Like their previous appearances
before Ayers-Caesar, security around
the St Vincent Street courthouse
was noticeably increased. Heavily
armed police officers blocked the
street for the duration of the hearing,
while unarmed officers stood guard
outside and inside the courtroom.
During yesterday s hearing, Ayers-
Caesar gave Williams and Gaspard
deadlines for filing their submissions
on an application calling for her
recusal from the case.
Williams had indicated his inten-
tion to file the application during
the group s first court appearance,
as he pointed to the fact that she
(Ayers-Caesar) had previously con-
sented to be replaced as the presiding
magistrate in Ali s case pertaining
The initial request was made over
the fact that Ayers-Caesar s security
detail was comprised of officers of
the Criminal Gang and Intelligence
Unit (CGIU), which investigated the
alleged plot to assassinate Savory.
It's like torture, lawyer complains
Dana accused kept in 'inhumane conditions'...
Rajaee, Hamid, their younger
brother, Ishmael, and nine
members of their family's
mosque are charged with
murdering Seetahal in
Woodbrook on May 4.
Seetahal, a former
Independent Senator, was
ambushed by gunmen along
Hamilton Holder Street while
returning home from a night
out at the Ma Pau Casino at
The other accused men, who
are also charged with being
gang members, are brothers
Devaughn and Stephan
Cummings, Ricardo Stewart,
Earl Richards, Kevin Parkinson,
Leston Gonzales, Roget
Boucher and Gareth Wiseman.
Three members of the
organisation who were not
charged with the murder ---
Devon Peters, David Ector and
one of Rajaee's wives, Stacy
Griffith --- were also charged
with being members of the
gang. Griffith was charged
separately under the Anti-Gang
Act for facilitating the activities
of the gang.
All the accused are being
represented by Williams except
Griffith, who is being
represented by Rajiv Persad,
Shivan Jadoo and Shawn
The group will reappear in
court on September 21.
A police officer searches people entering the area of the Port-of-Spain Magistrates' Court during the reappearance
yesterday of the 11 accused of the murder of state prosecutor Dana Seetahal. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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