'WRONG MAN KILLED'
By Nalinee Seelal and Janelle De Souza Thursday, January 3 2013
Lance Corporal Curtis Marshall’s murder has been caught on tape.
Surveillance cameras at Teteron Barracks, Chaguaramas show someone pushing Marshall to the ground in front of a clothing and equipment container used to store guns and ammunition.
However, the cameras did not record the face of the killer who remained hidden in the shadows of the container which Marshall, 29, was guarding at the base last Saturday night.
The footage shows a jeep arriving at about ten minutes after Marshall’s killer shoved him to the ground. A soldier got out, carrying a plate of food and a cup believed to be a meal for Marshall. Finding Marshall on the ground, the soldier went to get an army medic who tried to resuscitate him. Marshall, a father of one, was taken to the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital, Cocorite where he was pronounced dead.
A copy of the video of Marshall’s murder has been handed over by Defence Force officials to homicide police officers. It is now in the hands of the police Cyber Crime Unit as investigators try to determine the killer’s identity and what happened the moments before Marshall’s murder. Investigators believe the killer had accomplices.
Newsday understands 25 soldiers were on duty at the Defence Force headquarters on the night Marshall was killed. Ten of them were interviewed by homicide investigators between New Year’s Day and yesterday. On New Year’s Day, angry relatives and residents of Bushe Street, Petit Bourg, where Marshall lived, lit fires on the Eastern Main Road in protest over his killing.
This led to a meeting yesterday between Major Al Alexander, Civil Military Affairs Officer of the Defence Force, and Dennis and Ricardo Marshall, the brothers of the slain soldier who were shown the video.
Although they were allowed to see the footage, Dennis believes attempts will be made to cover up his brother’s death. He felt the soldier who arrived in the jeep with the meal and found Marshall on the ground showed no sense of urgency to get help.
Dennis said the soldier put down the food and cup, looked at Marshall’s body, “took a smoke” and then went to get a medic. He also noted Marshall’s uniform was not bloodstained nor soiled.
The family yesterday found out Marshall was supposed to work last Friday but someone called to change his shift to Saturday.
“Everything is falling into place,” Dennis told Newsday.
He said because his brother’s killer and accomplices knew the location of the surveillance cameras they avoided being recorded.
He said having to look at the last moments of his brother’s life was heart-rending and his family will not rest until justice is served.
“I know that it is a few soldiers who killed my brother and they know themselves. Let them know it is better they give themselves up now, because it is the wrong man they kill, so the perpetrators you know yourselves, come forward,” Dennis said.
“They could kill me, I know, I would die for a good purpose because I not going down so with my brother, my brother is a good one, I not going down like that.”
Dennis said he felt incensed after a second autopsy carried out at Simpson’s Funeral Home, St Augustine on New Year’s Day proved his brother was also beaten on the head before being strangled. The first autopsy conducted by pathologist Dr Eastlyn McDonald-Burris at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Monday, revealed Marshall’s death was due to strangulation.
“I believe that the persons who killed my brother beat him on the head, then strangled him before dumping his body on the lawn close to his job site,” Dennis said.
Ricardo Marshall, a Trinidad-born American soldier who has served in Afghanistan, holds the local military responsible for his brother’s murder.
“The whole thing is very fishy and the process is just too slow. The Trinidad and Tobago army is corrupted,” Ricardo claimed.
Last evening, relatives and friends held a candlelight march from Bushe Street, Petit Bourg along the Eastern Main Road to the KFC branch in San Juan. They sang hymns as they walked.
Earlier yesterday, Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson said a special team of homicide investigators had been appointed to probe Marshall’s death.
Major Alexander confirmed meeting Marshall’s brothers and assured the Defence Force was cooperating with the police, saying arrangements have been made for all of the soldiers who were on duty last Saturday to be interviewed by homicide investigators. He said an end-of-year cocktail reception which was due to take place tomorrow at the Defence Force headquarters has been cancelled as a mark of respect for Marshall.
Marshall’s funeral takes place tomorrow at the Church of Christ, Ryan Street, San Juan at 10 am, followed by his burial at the Long Circular Military cemetery in St James.