Car owner charged with murder of Kescia Branche

Matthew Munroe in court yesterday

Matthew Munroe, the owner of the car that is suspected to be linked to the murder of school teacher Kescia Branche, was today charged with her murder.

Munroe, 47, of Lot 1092, 16th Avenue, Diamond, East Bank Demerara, stood before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and was read the charge which stated that he, on November 7, at Georgetown murdered Branche.

The defendant was not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge.

Police prosecutor Gordon Mansfield told the court that the file in relation to the matter is incomplete, adding that there are a number of points to be cleared up.

He further stated that the file also has to be sent back to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Attorney George Thomas, who represented the accused, later told the court that the defendant, on November 30, while in police custody, was beaten repeatedly by an officer and was given a statement to sign but refused to do so.

The attorney added that at the time of Branche’s death his client was not present.

Thomas then requested full disclosure of statements.

Chief Magistrate McLennan then remanded the accused and adjourned the matter to January 9, 2018.

Munroe, who was out of the country to attend his niece’s 16th birthday, was taken into police custody after his return.

Branche, 22, a mother of one and a teacher at Richard Ishmael Secondary School, was found on November 5th along Cemetery Road, obliquely opposite the cemetery office, sometime around 5 am.

She succumbed to her injuries on November 7th in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a result of brain haemorrhaging and blunt trauma to the brain.

Kescia Branche

Branche was seen leaving the Blue Martini nightclub on Upper Lamaha Street in Newtown on November 4 in the company of the two on-duty constables. After leaving the nightclub, the trio had ventured to a barbeque spot on Mandela Avenue. From there, one of the constables said she left with a taxi.

The two police constables and Branche’s ex-partner were deemed “persons of interest” in her death and were held for questioning before being released.

Crime Chief (ag) Paul Williams had previously told this newspaper that samples were taken from the remains of Branche and the individuals who were detained for questioning and they will soon be sent overseas for DNA testing.