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Minors on murder charge

By JADA LOUTO Thursday, January 30 2014

click on pic to zoom in
CHARGED: This composite photo shows from left, Stefan Frederick, 18, who along with a 16-year-old girl, her 12-year-old brother and a 16-year-old boy ...
CHARGED: This composite photo shows from left, Stefan Frederick, 18, who along with a 16-year-old girl, her 12-year-old brother and a 16-year-old boy ...

AN EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD man and three minors including a 12-year-old boy, his 16-year-old sister and a 16-year-old boy, are now incarcerated at various holding institutions after being remanded into custody following their appearance yesterday before the Chief Magistrate on robbery and murder charges.

The four, all of Diego Martin, have been charged with the murder of Diego Martin mechanic Dulraj Deodath, 52, of Sea Trace, Bagatelle, who was killed sometime between January 16 and 19.

Stefan Frederick, 18, of Johnson Hill, Bagatelle and the three others, whose identities cannot be published because they are minors, appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar in the Port-of-Spain Eight Court, just before noon yesterday.

It is alleged the four murdered Deodath and also robbed him of a Toyota Dyna truck, a gold wrist watch, leaf blower and a Scotiabank ATM card.

Before the charges of robbery and murder were read out to the four, Ayers-Caesar sought to ascertain the ages of the accused, asking each of them to give their birth dates.

Frederick, who initially said he was 17, gave his birth date as February 22, 1995. He then changed it to 1993, prompting the Chief Magistrate to say that would make him much older than 17 years.

A copy of Frederick’s electronic birth certificate was produced and showed that his birth date is February 22, 1995. He was remanded into custody at Remand Yard, Golden Grove Prisons, Arouca.

The 16-year-old male accused was sent to the Youth Training Centre (YTC) in Arouca. His grandmother was present in court and was told to bring a copy of his birth certificate at the next court hearing.

The 16-year-old girl was sent to the Women’s Prison at Golden Grove, Arouca, while her 12-year-old brother was sent to St Michael’s School for Boys in Diego Martin. The siblings’ mother was also told to bring their birth certificates at the next court hearing.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby told the Chief Magistrate while the file was yet to be sent to the Office of the DPP, he wanted to make an application for DNA samples to be taken from the accused siblings.

Busby said after complying with instructions to charge the four, police indicated they wanted to take DNA samples but were prevented from doing so after the siblings received legal advice from their lawyer that police could not take such samples.

Reading from Section 13 of the Administration of Justice (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Act of 2012, Busby said a police officer has the authority to take a non-intimate sample from a person, without his consent, where that person is a suspect, detainee or accused.

Busby’s application was approved and the Chief Magistrate ordered that DNA samples be taken from the accused siblings. The four accused sat speaking to each other in the holding cell of the court room and when they appeared in the prisoners’ docks continued to whisper at each other. Their appearance took place in an empty courtroom devoid of members of the public except for the handful of relatives who were present.

They were represented by attorney Criston Chandler and will reappear before the Chief Magistrate on February 26.

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