Murder trial to re-start after ten years

TEN years after six men were arrested and charged with the murder of Cepep worker Rus­sell An­toine, they accepted that their case had to be restarted before acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle yesterday morning.

Chicki Portillo, Anton Cambridge, Levi Joseph, Akini James, Israel Lara and Kareem Gomez appeared before Earle-Caddle in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Eighth Court, where they were told their case was to be re-started.

State prosecutor Kelly Ann Thompson said 61 statements were to be tendered and 12 witnesses for cross-examination.


Attorney CJ Williams represented Lara, Portillo and Gomez and said he would be prepared for cross-examination.

The six men are expected to reappear in court on Thursday.

Asked if they understood why the case needed to be restarted, the men said yes.

Earle-Caddle was assured by relatives of the accused that all of their attorneys would be present on Thursday for the beginning of the matter again.

Antoine was killed on Covigne Road on May 13 2009 and were ar­rest­ed by members of the now defunct Spe­cial An­ti-Crime Unit, dur­ing an ex­er­cise along Covi­gne Road on No­vem­ber 30 of that year.

In 2017, when the men were told their trial would be re-started, they expressed their dissatisfaction by wearing matching black and white t-shirts for their hearing.

The case was restarted when former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar was appointed as a High Court Judge, leaving 52 unfinished court matters in the magistrate’s court.

Source: Newsday