Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 22nd 2018 Contents As tributes and tears poured out at the funeral of
murdered teacher Abigail Jones-Chapman and her
daughter Olivia Chapman, those who lived near her
were chastised for not offering a helping hand in their
time of need.
Quoting the old African proverb “It takes a village
to raise a child,” Jones-Chapman’s cousin Alana Jones
questioned where was the village when they suffered
verbal and financial abuse.
Jones’ eulogy at the La Brea Seventh Day Adventist
Church might have stepped on several corns among
the hundreds who crammed inside and huddled out-
side the church building. However, it was a call for
the community to unite and confront domestic abuse
where and whenever it was found.
“Growing up in this community, I was told that it
takes a village to raise a child, but somehow we for-
got that as this said child is nurtured and moved into
puberty, that the child still needs that village. Abigail
needed that village. As a young mom, she struggled to
make ends meet to provide for her children. She was
married, but not adequately provided for but it was
the village that still was not there.”
Jones said that Jones-Chapman and her estranged
husband Ronsworth Chapman were not immune to
the challenges of most modern marriages despite her
being a great cook, a loving mother and a devoted
She said when Jones-Chapman left the safety of her
marriage, no one asked why. Instead, they became
the local Ian Alleyne where conspiracy and gossip
ruled. She called on villagers to become agitated in
raising awareness of domestic abuse and support
those in need beyond the usual lip service.
Earlier, a teary-eyed Ronsworth told mourners
that he hoped that the death of his wife and daughter
would not be in vain. He believes that God has a plan
for his younger children, Kacey and Amy as it was
why the killer did not find them last week Tuesday.
He said there was no time for animosity and acrimony
as life was short.
Principal of Olivia’s Point Fortin East Secondary
School, Ainsley Gopaul, said the country lost a poten-
tial lawyer and human rights activist. Describing her
a “little warrior princess,” he said Olivia would always
stand up for her class whenever issues arose. The
school is expected to host a memorial next week in
which they invited the Jones and Chapman’s families.
Suspect remains silent
Yesterday, defence attorney Fareed Ali confirmed
that he represents the 38-year-old Gonzales Village, Guapo
mason, who is suspected of murdering Jones-Chapman,
41, Olivia, 14, their landlord Michael Scott, 69, and Olivia’s
friend Michaela Mason, 14, on March 13.
Police believe that the murders stemmed from a do-
mestic dispute between Jones-Chapman and the suspect
after she ended their year-long relationship. As a conse-
quence, it was believed that the suspect went to the home
at Khani Settlement, Sobo Village, La Brea where he killed
everyone in the apartment.
Ali confirmed that the suspect remained in the custody
of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, Region Three.
He also dispelled rumours that his client confessed to
the murders adding that the suspect has maintained his
right to silence since his arrest on Sunday.
Ali said that much has been said about his client, both
in the press and social media. He said it was unfortunate
that the public, without information from a credible
source, had concluded that his client was responsible. He
said what was carried by the press (Not the T&T Guard-
ian) about comments by his client was nothing but ru-
mour mongering and conjecture. — KE VON FELMINE
Thursday, March 22, 2018
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Tributes, tears as
Abigail laid to rest
Dad killed in hit-and-run
Struggling to support his family,
Roland Rampersad was preparing
to go to Canada for short-term em-
ployment to ease their burden. But
all plans were pushed aside when
Rampersad was killed in a hit -and-
run collision near his Barrackpore
home on Tuesday night.
Police said that around 7 pm,
Rampersad, 48, of Mussarapp Trace
was riding his bicycle along the Ro-
chard Douglas Road, Barrackpore
when upon reaching Sukhan Trace,
he was knocked over by a white
pick-up truck. Witnesses told po-
lice that instead of stopping to offer
assistance, the driver sped away
as Rampersad bled heavily on the
road. He was taken to San Fernando
General Hospital where he was pro-
As relatives cleaned the home
in preparation for his wake, they
stressed on the unfairness of his
death as they said he was working
hard to support his wife and five
children. His children wandered
around the house yesterday, not
sure what to say about their father’s
death. One of his sons said that in
the coming weeks, he would have
left for his annual trip to Canada to
do agricultural work.
Rampersad’s brother Shivanand
recollected their last moments to-
gether, saying that just before the ac-
cident, Rampersad was offering him
a jersey. Shivanand said he left to
purchase food at a restaurant along
the Rochard Douglas Road. Ramper-
sad then left on his bicycle to visit
two of his sons who were working
on a nearby construction site.
It was while returning, he saw a
black pick-up truck parked across
the road, blocking the traffic while
police stood on the other side.
When he went to ask what was hap-
pening, the officer then informed
him that his brother was lying on
the ground. Rampersad suffered se-
vere injuries to his hands, feet and
Shivanand said the driver of the
black pick-up truck told him that the
white pick-up truck involved in his
brother’s death was overtaking five
vehicles in a line and while attempt-
ing to get back into the correct lane,
He said they later learned it was a
woman who killed his brother and
parked the pick-up truck at her rel-
Yesterday, a woman showed up
at the Barrackpore Police Station to
give a statement in relation to the
collision and was allowed to leave.
Accident victim Roland Rampersad
Ronston Chapman speaks about his wife Abigail Chapman and daughter Olivia during their funeral service at the La
Brea Seventh Day Adventist Church, La Brea, yesterday.
PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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