Accused denies killing drinking buddy

Murder accused Devindra Ruplall yesterday denied being at the scene or having anything to do with the death of his drinking partner, Suresh Goberdan.

Ruplall is on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a 12-member jury at the High Court in Georgetown for the murder of Goberdan.

The charge against him is that on January 16, 2014, at Dochfour Village, East Coast Demerara, he murdered Goberdan, called ‘Bud.’

 Devindra Ruplall
Devindra Ruplall

Opting to lead his defence in unsworn testimony from the prisoners’ dock yesterday, the accused, who professed his innocence, said, “I had no reason to hurt Suresh. I had no problem with Suresh.”

According to him, on the day in question, he and Goberdan, in the company of Khemraj Persaud, were on their way to a rum shop when Persaud and Goberdan got into an argument.

He said that after the men began arguing, he tried to stop them, but was unsuccessful, and as a result he rode away and left them.

It is the state’s case, that on the day in question, sometime before midnight, the accused and Goberdan, had just left a rum shop, where they were drinking, and were heading to another, when Ruplall began beating Goberdan with a piece of iron over a gambling argument.

Prosecutors Siand Dhurjon, who is representing the state along with Shawnette Austin, had said that during the argument, Ruplall started cursing and told Goberdan that he would kill him. He said neither Goberdan nor Persaud took the accused seriously and started to laugh at him. Dhurjon had said that it was at this point that Ruplall armed himself with a piece of steel, about three feet long, with which he dealt Goberdan several lashes to his face, head, and about his body.

Defence attorney Sandil Kissoon had made a no-case submission, which Justice Barlow overruled.

Before the close of the prosecution’s case, Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh testified that Goberdan died as a result haemorrhage and shock, due to multiple blunt trauma to the face.

The case continues this morning at 10, when both sides will present closing addresses to the jury.

The judge announced that she will sum-up the case next Tuesday morning at 9, and, thereafter, hand it over to the jury for deliberations, and the possible return of a verdict.

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