Detective attests to witnessing two caution statements

…as state closes case in septic tank murder

The State yesterday closed its case in the trial of Ralph Tyndall, Anthony De Paul Hope and Kevin O’Neil, who are jointly charged with murdering Colleen Forrester and stuffing her body in a septic tank in 2007.

Attorneys Diana Kaulesar and Stacy Goodings called their last witness, Detective Elston Baird, to the stand yesterday morning.

Baird testified to being a witness when caution statements were taken from Tyndall and O’Neil. He stated that Tyndall appeared very calm when he was being questioned by the investigators and that no force or violence was used to take a statement from Tyndall at any point.

He said Tyndall was under no restrictions and his rights were properly communicated to him.

In the case of O’Neil, Baird said he was quick to offer to speak about what had transpired on the night of the killing. He said O’Neil had stated: “Boss me ain’t kill nobody me gon tell you what happen!”

He said this occurred after O’Neil was told he had a right to remain silent and to have an attorney or relative present.

e Barid BBaird stated that the investigators reminded him of his rights and asked if he would like to put what he said in writing and O’Neil responded: “Me ain’t have no problem with that.”

Baird was also the detective who took a statement from Nikita Semple, the granddaughter of Forrester.

He was cross-examined by attorney George Thomas as to why he had not questioned O’Neil about his statement varying from Semple’s. But Baird responded that he was only a witness when O’Neil was giving his statement and not the investigator. Thomas pressed him as to why he did not draw it to the attention of the investigator and Baird responded that the investigator would have questioned O’Neil on this variance.

Semple had testified that her grandmother sent her downstairs to fetch water with O’Neil. Semple recalled hearing a scream and then finding herself locked out of the house. She had recalled O’Neil telling her that everyone might be cleaning and not want them upstairs.

However, in his statement, O’Neil said that after Forrester instructed him and her granddaughter to go downstairs to fetch water, he heard “blam blam” in one of the bedrooms in the house. He stated that he ran upstairs and saw “…Nick [Tyndall] on Anthony aunty choking her and lashing her with a baton.”

He stated that he ran back down the steps to stop her granddaughter from going upstairs and when he returned to the room he saw blood dripping from Tyndall’s hands and Forrester lying on the ground, bleeding.

“Anthony aunty been pon the ground jumping up like when people catch fits…then she stay still,” O’Neil recalled in the statement.

He said Hope and Tyndall cleaned up the room and shoved Forrester in wardrobe and turned it around to face the wall. He said Hope then sent him and the girl to a shop to buy cigarettes.

The trial continues on Monday.

 

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