Accused in hotelier’s murder claimed killing was unintentional

-detective testifies

Joseph Jagdeo

Murder accused Brian Leitch, according to the police, said that the killing of hotel owner Joseph Jagdeo was unintentional and that he was sorry for it.

Leitch, also known as ‘Big Foot,’ is on trial before Justice Sandil Kissoon and a jury for the murder of Jagdeo, who was found bound and gagged under a bed in one of the hotel rooms.

The charge against him states that he murdered Jagdeo between November 13th and November 14th, 2013, at a Lot 218 South Road, Georgetown hotel. He has denied the indictment.

Testifying yesterday was Detective Sergeant Keith Conway, who said he was present when the accused made the statement to then police officer Phillip Bowman.

Brian Leitch

Conway recalled Bowman summoning him to his desk on December 1st, 2013 to be a witness to the statement, which he informed him the accused wanted to make. The statement has been admitted into evidence.

According to the Detective, the accused then began explaining, “the morning Jagdeo come in me room and tell me to leave.”

The witness said Leitch related that Jagdeo’s request angered him, as a result of which he held him down, stuffed and tied his mouth with a pillowcase, tied his hands together, and pushed him under the bed.

Conway said the accused then related leaving the room key on the bed, after which he took the dead man’s cellular phone before leaving.

Conway said the accused declared, “Me ain’t guh fuh kill he… I sorry fuh wah happen.”

Conway said that before making the statement the accused was cautioned that he was not obligated to say anything unless he wished to do so, and that anything he said would be given in evidence.

The witness said, too, that at no time did he or Bowman make any threats, or hold out any promises or inducements to the accused for him to make the statement.

The Detective said that when he questioned the accused the day before, he had denied knowing anything about Jagdeo’s murder.

After putting the allegation to him, Conway said Leitch responded, “Officer, I don’t know anything about any murder.”

Under cross-examination, the Detective told defence attorney Lawrence Harris that he was in no position to doubt his client’s initial claim of not knowing anything about Jagdeo’s death.

Asked if he knew the conversation which took place between Bowman and the accused before he joined them for the taking of the statement, the witness answered in the negative.

The witness disagreed with counsel’s suggestion that he was never present when the statement was made and also that he had not been telling the truth in his testimony.

Testifying yesterday also was Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh, who recalled performing the autopsy on Jagdeo’s remains.

He gave the cause of death as haemorrhage due to blunt trauma to the head, compounded by suffocation and compression to the neck.

Last Wednesday, former employee of the hotel Wendell Eastman had told the court that Leitch had been a guest of the hotel, having checked into Room 9 with a female companion.

Owing to an argument with the woman, however, Eastman said he was instructed by Jagdeo to give Leitch the keys to Room 10, as the woman no longer wanted him staying with her.

The argument, he said, stemmed from the woman accusing Leitch of stealing Jagdeo’s cell phone.

It was in this room that Jagdeo’s body would later be discovered under the bed.

In his testimony, Eastman had said that while the key for that room could not initially be found, it was later located on the bed.

The trial continues next Monday, when the final witnesses who the prosecution are currently unable to locate are expected to testify.

In the interest of justice, the judge noted that he would grant the long adjournment to give the state a chance to locate its outstanding witnesses.

Representing the state are prosecutors Mandel Moore and Lisa Cave.

Leitch, meanwhile, is being represented by Harris, in association with attorney Hewley Griffith.

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