Ex-cop implicated by accused in burnt taxi driver’s murder denies knowledge of crime

Travis David, who was allegedly implicated by the accused in the murder of taxi driver Bhomeshwar Sukhdeo, yesterday testified that he never killed the deceased nor had anything to do with the crime.

According to Balram Singh’s caution statement, which was admitted into evidence last Thursday, he confessed that it was he and David who murdered Sukhdeo.

Singh is on trial for the crime before Justice Navindra Singh and a 12-member jury at the High Court, in Georgetown. The charge against him is that between January 19 and January 27, 2010, he murdered Sukhdeo. He has pleaded not guilty.

In his testimony, David told the court that he knows Singh, with whom he worked on the same minibus as a conductor for about four years. He added that they both lived in Agricola.

  Bomeshwar Sukhdeo
Bomeshwar Sukhdeo
Balram Singh
Balram Singh

David said that sometime in January 2010, he was arrested in connection with the murder although he knew nothing about it. He said that after his arrest, investigators held a confrontation with him and Singh was a part of it. The witness said that during the confrontation, he heard Singh saying that it was he [David], who had shot and killed Sukhdeo.

David said Singh then proceeded to tell the police that he [David] then placed the body on a dam and they both later went back to retrieve it and placed it on another dam, after which they burnt it.

He added that he was arrested and placed in the lock-ups for a few days before being released.

David said he was questioned by the police about his whereabouts on January 19, 2010, and he told them that he was at home that entire day.

Asked under cross-examination by defence attorney Jermaine Jervis whether he was a former policeman, David answered in the affirmative.

He disagreed with counsel’s suggestion that the police never held a confrontation with him and Singh.

Jervis suggested to the witness that Singh never said the things he attributed to him as saying. David, however, firmly maintained that Singh did say the things he told the court he had said during the confrontation.

At last Thursday’s hearing, Detective Sergeant Nigel Stephens recalled holding a confrontation with Singh, during which he blurted out, “Is me and Travis David kill the driver of the car and sell it to Bharrat.”

Stephens had told the court that subsequent to taking the caution statement from Singh, he then showed him a missing person’s flyer, bearing the name and photograph of the deceased, to which he, [Singh], said, “This is the taxi driver we tek the car from and kill.”

The statement that was read to the jury by Stephens, which he said Singh voluntarily gave, detailed how Sukhdeo was murdered.

According to the statement, Singh said that on January 19, 2010, he and David travelled to Georgetown from Agricola and while he waited in the vicinity of Silvie’s Variety Store, David left and later returned in a white wagon with Sukhdeo.

The court heard that Singh got into the back seat of the vehicle, which was driven by Sukhdeo, while David sat in the front passenger seat and directed Sukhdeo to drive to the Agricola Sideline Dam.

The court heard that after arriving there, Singh said David instructed Sukhdeo to stop the vehicle. When the driver complied, the statement said, David pulled out a .38 revolver from a haversack he was carrying and shot the deceased to the left-side of his neck.

The court was further told that David then used a jersey “to stop the blood.”

According to the statement, Singh said they then placed Sukhdeo in the back seat of the car and he went into the front passenger seat, while David drove the vehicle to Eccles, where they placed the body in the bush.

The court heard that David then drove Sukhdeo’s vehicle to Singh’s yard and left and about 6 pm, he returned and picked up Singh and the vehicle, after which they retrieved the body from Eccles.

After retrieving the body, the men purportedly then took it to Mocha access road, where they finally dumped it.

Stephens said after Singh detailed how Sukhdeo had met his end, he [Singh] added, “I din burn no body, wah eva happen is me and Travis do it. I sorry fuh wah eva happen.”

Testifying at yesterday’s hearing also, was government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh, who performed the post-mortem examination of Sukhdeo’s remains. He said that the cause of death was undeterminable due to the body’s advanced stage of decomposition and the fact that it was burnt.

At the conclusion of Dr Singh and David’s testimonies, the prosecution announced the closure of its case.

The matter continues this morning at 9.

The state’s case is being presented by prosecutor Narissa Leander, in association with Teshanna James-Lake. Meanwhile, Singh is represented by Jervis, in association with attorney Clevaun Humphrey.

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