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JENSEN LA VENDE
After taking the life of his two children and tex-
ting about it, Barry Karimath used two tie straps
to choke himself to death. The first strap broke,
but the second one allowed him to complete his
Karimath's autopsy yesterday revealed he placed
the plastic straps around his neck and pulled until
his brain was deprived of oxygen.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian,
pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov said the strap was
still around the 33-year-old when he performed the
autopsy. The official cause of death was asphyxiation.
Karimath's two children, ten-month-old Omari
Mayers and his sister Keanna "Keke" Mayers, three,
also died of asphyxiation. It was initially thought
the children were poisoned. Alexandrov said he was
still not certain of this as the stomach contents of
the children still had to be sent for testing to deter-
mine if they were poisoned. He added that ingesting
poisonous substance such as lanate could also result
Speaking with the media at her Barataria home
yesterday, the children's mother, Okilia Mayers, said
Karimath was not a violent person.
"He was normal to me. He loved his children as
far as I knew, because he was always so kind to
them. So when he started sending the texts on Sat-
urday, I didn't believe he would actually harm the
children," Mayers said.
The text messages read that he "deal with Bubba"
and was about to "deal with Ke-Ke". Another text
message read that Mayers should not cry for him
while another spoke of the young Keanna taking
her last breath.
"He was the jealous type. But his threats were
always directed to me, never the children. I can say
honest to God, I never expected him to do anything
like this," she said.
According to police reports, around 6 am on Sun-
day officers received a report that the three bodies
were found near a bamboo patch next to a pumpkin
farm in Matura. When police arrived, they found
Karimath's body and those of his two children.
The farmer said around 9.30 pm Saturday night
he went to his garden to spend the night and saw
Karimath standing near the trace with his children.
He said when he questioned Karimath he said had
paid a woman $6,000 for a bush bath and was
waiting for her.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Coolman: I paid $75,000 to bribe state officials
for 14th APRIL, 2014
Stricken by the fear of being innocently
prosecuted for his wife s kidnapping, Rennie
Coolman paid $75,000 to a conwoman
who promised to assist by bribing senior
prosecutors into forgoing investigating
Coolman made the admission yesterday
while being grilled for over three hours by
defence attorney Mario Merritt, who is rep-
resenting two of the dozen men accused of
murdering his wife Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.
While under cross examination in the Hall
of Justice, Port-of-Spain, Coolman admitted
he was contacted by the woman, who pre-
tended to be attached to the office of the
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), several
months after his wife was kidnapped from
their Lange Park, Chaguanas home on
December 19, 2006.
Although the alleged fraudster's name was
mentioned several times during yesterday's
hearing, trial Judge Malcolm Holdip requested
that her name be withheld in media reports
to avoid her being prejudiced in her pending
court case in the matter.
Coolman said the woman first went to
his workplace, where she obtained his cell-
phone number which she used to contact
Merritt was able to get Coolman to admit
he paid the woman $50,000 to bribe the
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in
addition to $25,000 to bribe Senior Counsel
Israel Khan, who is prosecuting the case.
"My emotions made me do what I did,"
He said in April 2007 he met the woman
at Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, near
to the Hall of Justice, to make the payment,
but denied being aware that Khan's office
was located nearby.
Merritt then attempted to ask Coolman
if he knew his actions were illegal, but was
stopped by an objection from prosecutors
before Coolman could respond.
After they addressed the objections in
chamber and returned to court, Merritt
began asking Coolman about his reasoning
for paying the bribes.
Merritt: You did nothing wrong and you
still parted with your $75,000?
Merritt: What made you give up your
hard earned money...your wife's money?
Coolman: It was said to me that I would
be charged innocently without evidence.
Merritt: You were told that you would be
charged innocently without evidence?
Coolman: That's right.
Merritt: You know that the police charge
people innocently without evidence?
Although Coolman's extra-judicial attempt
at evading the police investigation was seem-
ingly successful, the campus manager at the
University of T&T (UTT) claimed he only
realised that he was being fleeced when the
woman contacted him a second time and
demanded a further payment.
Merritt: Why did you not pay the
Coolman: I decided this was a major fraud
... I realised that she probably would continue
and I had to take some form of action.
Merritt: You didn't want to part with your
Coolman: I decided to make the call
because I didn't want it to continue.
Despite his candid confession, State pros-
ecutors quickly objected when Merritt began
suggesting to Coolman that he was directly
involved in his wife's abduction.
A demure Coolman was also asked why
he did not utilise the $400,000 he had in
a joint account with his deceased wife to
assist in paying the ransom for her release.
He responded: "They did not demand or
request any ransom. They continously asked
to speak with her brother Anand Naipaul
and her father. They did not want to negotiate
During his gruelling cross-examination,
Merritt repeatedly enquired about Coolman's
relationship with his wife while alluding that
the couple had issues with their relation-
However, Coolman denied these asser-
tions, stating: "We had an excellent rela-
Merritt also sought to identify inconsis-
tencies with the evidence Coolman gave
during his wife's preliminary inquiry, two
weeks ago in the trial and in a book he co-
The inconsistency dealt with if Coolman
saw the firearms which were allegedly used
by his wife's kidnappers. Merritt claimed
Coolman first said he did not see any
firearms, then changed his story when he
began testifying in the trial two Thursdays
Merritt will continue his cross-examina-
tion this morning.
Emotions made me do it
The dozen men before the jury and
Justice Malcolm Holdip are: Allan "Scanny"
Martin, twin brothers Shervon and Devon
Peters, siblings Keida and Jamille Garcia
and their older brother Anthony Dwayne
Gloster, brothers Marlon and Earl
Trimmingham, Ronald Armstrong, Antonio
Charles, Joel Fraser and Lyndon James. A
13th man, Raphael Williams, was charged
with the crime but died in prison in 2011 of
complications from sickle-cell anaemia.
Their legal team includes Ulric Skerritt,
Joseph Pantor, Selwyn Mohammed,
Lennox Sankersingh, Ian Brooks, Wayne
Sturge, Mario Merritt, Richard Valere,
Kwesi Bekoe, Colin Selvon, Vince Charles,
Christian Chandler, Delicia Helwig and
Alexia Romero. The prosecution team
includes Senior Counsel Israel Khan, Gilbert
Peterson and Dana Seetahal, who are
being assisted by senior state prosecutors
Joy Balkaran and Kelly Thompson.
WHO'S IN COURT
Rennie Coolman, husband of murdered
businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman,
leaves the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain,
after giving evidence in her murder trial
yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Dad never showed
violence to toddlers,
says grieving mom
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