When the trial of Lorenzo Forde, who is accused of the 2013 murder of Pegasus taxi driver, Rudrinauth Jeeboo, continued yesterday, (Detective) Superintendent of Police, Joel David, testified to witnessing the taking of a caution statement from the murder accused.
Based on reports, on December 27, 2013, Jeeboo left his Lot 25 Delph Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, home for work. His lifeless body was discovered the following day in a garbage pile at Caneview Avenue, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Investigators who checked the phone records of the deceased found that his cellular phone, which was stolen, was still in use and it was traced to the accused who was detained.
Jeeboo’s car was subsequently found on December 28, 2013 abandoned at a road in Tucville Terrace, Georgetown with no number plates.
Forde, who was 17 years old at the time of the killing, has pleaded not guilty to the charge which alleged that between December 27 and December 28, 2013 at South Ruimveldt, Georgetown he murdered Jeeboo.
The murder accused is being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Hughley Griffith and Rachael Bakker while the state is represented by Lisa Cave, Shawnette Austin and Tiffini Lyken.
Testifying before Justice Brassington Reynolds at the High Court in Georgetown, Superintendent David told the court that during 2014 he was an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) stationed at the Ruimveldt Police Station and attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
He told the court that on January 30, 2014, he was in office when he was contacted by Sergeant (Jomo) Williams who told him something. The police witness recalled that Sergeant Williams pointed out Forde and his aunt Marlene Williams to him.
Superintendent David added, “As we entered my office Sergeant Williams sat north facing south. Myself, the accused and his aunt sat west facing east. Constable Grant who was also present for the video recordings of the proceeding was west.”
According to the police witness in the presence of his aunt, Sergeant Williams told Forde that he was in receipt of information that he together with others robbed and murdered Jeeboo. He said that Sergeant Williams cautioned Forde in compliance with the judge’s rule and he elected to make a statement during which he was informed that he can write it himself or have someone do so for him.
Forde, Superintendent David said, elected Sergeant Williams to write the statement.
He said that Forde and his aunt signed the statement while he and Sergeant Williams signed as witnesses. The police witness recalled that the statement was read over to Forde and was also given to him to read. He said that Forde looked at the statement and appeared as though he was reading it.
Superintendent David testified that after Sergeant Williams told Forde he can alter the statement, Forde made about two or three changes.
The witness maintained that at no time prior, during or after the taking of the statement did Sergeant Williams, Constable Grant, Welch or anyone to his knowledge, or in his presence, use any threats, intimidation, violence or held out promises to the accused to obtain the statement.
The caution statement which was earlier admitted as an exhibit in the trial was identified by Superintendent David who also pointed out the modifications.
According to Superintendent David, neither he nor any of the other ranks was armed during the taking of the caution statement. He also said that Forde was not handcuffed when he gave the statement.
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