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Accused a no-show

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Saturday, December 7 2013

A SEVERE asthma attack has prevented the 27-year-old male relative of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch from going to court to answer a charge of murdering the child. Media personnel arrived outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court from as early as seven o’clock yesterday morning awaiting the arrival of the accused.

But at 8 am, Newsday was told by a source that it was unlikely that the accused would be brought to court as doctors declared him unfit to be discharged and prevented officers from removing him from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.

Earlier this week, the accused suffered an asthma attack and was taken to hospital for treatment. Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard on Thursday instructed officers to lay a charge of murder against the ailing suspect.

At about 11.30 am, media personnel at the court was told by senior officials of the Homicide Investigations Bureau that the accused would not be brought to court as doctors said he was in no condition to do so.

Newsday was later told that doctors have indicated to police that in the absence of any complications developing over the weekend, the accused would be released on Monday.

The suspect has been in custody for over a week and the murder charge came a day after Keyana was laid to rest on Wednesday, following a funeral service.

On November 25, Keyana disappeared shortly after arriving at her Maloney apartment home from school. The accused, who was the last person to see her alive, claimed he watched her cross the road and go into a nearby apartment housing complex where her grandmother lives.

Three days later, Keyana’s body was found by her mother Simone Williams, stuffed at the bottom of a cargo transport barrel in the bedroom of their home. She had been bludgeoned to death and then raped.

The 27-year-old accused, who was hospitalised sometime after Keyana’s disappearance had appealed through his attorney Fareed Ali, for the public to help pay for his asthma medication.

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