More than 12 years after a 33-year-old man was robbed, stabbed and shot dead during Carnival Tuesday celebrations in Arima, one of his attackers has admitted to participating in the crime.
Christopher Lewis was due to go on trial before Justice Devan Rampersad in the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday. However when the case was called he said he was willing to plead guilty.
Lewis was re-arraigned by Rampersad, who directed the 12-member jury to return with a guilty verdict for felony murder.
Under the felony murder rule, judges are given the discretion to waive the mandatory death penalty in circumstances where the victim was killed during commission of a lesser criminal offence—in this case robbery.
Lewis was not immediately sentenced by Rampersad as his attorneys requested a short adjournment to get a probation officer’s report and other testimonials on his behalf.
According to evidence presented by prosecutor Joy Balkaran, Steven Sorias, 33, a farmer, left his home at By-Pass Road, Arima, at around 9 pm on Carnival Tuesday to go to Arima to buy a bottle of rum to celebrate his nephew’s birthday.
When he did not return home, his brother Mervyn went searching and found his car parked along Sorzano Street.
Police later found Sorias tied to a bois canot tree in a track near where his car was parked.
He was wearing only his underwear and socks and had been stabbed more than a dozen times. He had also been shot in the head.
Lewis is being represented by Amerelle Francis and Fulton Wilson.