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6 murders take homicide toll to 224

Tuesday, July 8 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Murder victims Kern Catene...
Murder victims Kern Catene...

SIX MURDERS were committed over the weekend in separate incidents in Central, West and North Trinidad, bringing the murder toll to 224.

The bloodshed began last Saturday at about 2 am when Franz Pierre, 31, from Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain was shot dead in Patna Village, Diego Martin while playing cards with three male friends. Four masked men armed with firearms approached the men, and announced a robbery. After robbing the men of cash and cell phones, the bandits fired several shots at the group. Pierre was shot in the lower back and pronounced dead at the scene.

At the Forensic Science Centre, St James, relatives of Pierre described the Republic Bank loan officer as a loving family man. Pierre is survived by a nine-year-old daughter and a wife who was so inconsolable she could not go to the centre to identify her husband’s body.

The next murder victim, Keston John, 21, of Eastern Quarry, Laventille, was shot multiple times next to his Almera vehicle at about 10.30 am on Saturday. Police reports state that John was driving his car along the Eastern Main Road (EMR) when he stopped at the corner of Clare Street in Laventille. Two men approached the car and fired several shots at the vehicle. John and two passengers exited the car and John was shot several times.

An autopsy done by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov showed John was shot to the left side of his body four times. While waiting for the forensic report, John’s siblings described the private for hire taxi driver as a business-minded young man who always cared about others.

John’s brother, Rowland Lewis, 27, said John was not involved in gang activities, but was shot due to the area he came from.

“They could not get the guy they were looking for, so they took him instead. My brother went to fix his taxi, that’s all,” Lewis said.

Lewis said John was the youngest in his family and their mother, Beverly, is now beside herself with grief. Beverly migrated to Canada 15 years ago with the intention to save enough money to have her three children join her.

When she learned of John’s death, Lewis said she was in a state of shock. Beverly is currently trying to make arrangements to fly down to Trinidad for her son’s funeral.

Nathaniel Prince, 24, of Princes Town, was the third person to be killed on Saturday night. Between the hours of 8 pm and 9.30 pm Prince was chopped to death by bandits who were robbing the taxi Prince was travelling in.

The autopsy report shows that Prince’s head was partially decapitated. Approximately three quarters of his head was severed from his body. Alexandrov said the size of wound showed that Prince was lying on the ground and most likely chopped with a large blade similar to a cutlas.

Prince also had a superficial wound on the back of his neck and defensive wounds on his thumbs and fingers. (See page 10)

Kern Catene, 19, from Success Village, Laventille, was shot in the head while he was going to the shop at about 9.50 pm on Sunday. Catene, who was also known as “Mad Max” had a five-month- old baby girl. He was one of seven children, and was the third to be murdered. Five years ago, Catene’s older brothers were shot dead mere days apart. Catene’s brother Moses Catene was shot dead at a wake and his elder brother Stern Sealy was murdered the day of Moses’ funeral.

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