8 not guilty, retrial for two: Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial

By Rickie Ramdass
May 31, 2016 – trinidadexpress.com

Vindra Naipaul-CoolmanEIGHT of the ten men on trial for the murder of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman, were found not guilty of the crime this afternoon.

Retrials have been ordered in the case of the two other murder accused.

The verdicts were announced at around 5.30p.m in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain before Justice Malcolm Holdip.

It brings to an end a trial that began more than two years ago.

Naipaul-Coolman was kidnapped from her driveway at Lange Park, Chaguanas the night of December 19, 2006. Her body was never found.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

4 Responses to “8 not guilty, retrial for two: Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial”


  • Cops’ curious behaviour raised

    Judge continues summation in Vindra case

    By Derek Achong
    Friday, May 27, – guardian.co.tt

    A lead detective with a bad memory, an extra-marital affair between investigators, a corrupt police officer and a suspicious husband were just some of the controversial issues raised by High Court Judge Malcolm Holdip to the jury in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial yesterday.

    During his fifth day summing up the case to the 12-member jury and two alternates in the Port-of-Spain Second Criminal Court, Holdip repeated issues raised and discrepancies in the evidence presented by prosecutors during the protracted trial.

    Dealing with the testimony of the lead investigator, retired assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Nadhir Khan, Holdip called on the jurors to pay attention to the fact that he (Khan) could not remember key issues in the case when he took the witness stand before them. “He is enjoying retirement and through the passage of time can’t seem to remember things important to this case,” Holdip said as he noted Khan retired in 2009.

    Holdip also criticised Khan’s claims that he did not interact with the State’s main witness Keon Gloster, who allegedly witnessed the crime but did not participate.

    “I find it strange that a senior police officer heading an investigation of this magnitude never took the took the opportunity to have a discussion with his main witness,” Holdip said. He also questioned Khan’s claim that he allowed his junior officers autonomy in performing their duties in the case, as he (Holdip) noted that all the officers who testified said they only responded to instructions provided by Khan.

    Holdip then turned to issues with the testimony of Insp Suzette Martin, who interviewed Gloster six times months after Naipaul-Coolman’s kidnapping and produced a series of sworn statements which led to the accused men being charged.

    Addressing claims by defence attorneys and by Gloster himself in the trial, that he (Gloster) was coerced by police into implicating the accused men, most of them his relatives, Holdip said Martin was aware that Gloster was taking a cocktail of epilepsy medication that would have rendered him “easily suggestible”.

    Holdip said the side effects of the medication was confirmed by clinical psychiatrist Prof Gerard Hutchinson, who nonetheless ruled that Gloster was mentally fit to provide police with details of the crime. He also reminded the jury that some of Gloster’s initial interviews with Martin were excluded from the trial, as there were issues with the fact that they were authenticated by a justice of the peace “in the back of a car and in a dentist’s office”.

    Holdip told the jury they were also entitled to consider that Martin admitted to having a romantic relationship with a senior officer who also interacted with Gloster, as defence attorneys claimed that she changed her evidence to corroborate her lover’s during the trial.

    “Put this in the mix when you are making your deliberations,” Holdip said. noting they had to determine if the relationship had any relevance to the case.

    Jurors were also reminded of the controversial evidence of Naipaul-Coolman’s husband Rennie Coolman, who was one of the first witnesses to testify when the trial began in March, 2014. Holdip noted that Coolman admitted that while the investigation was ongoing, he paid $150,000 to a fraudster he claimed convinced him he was a suspect in the case and offered to assist in diverting suspicion away from him.

    Holdip then reminded them of Coolman’s conduct on the night of the kidnapping.

    “The police were contacted by a family friend who was contacted by the victim’s daughter, who was upstairs the house.

    “He (Coolman) retreated to the kitchen as he heard cries for help from his wife outside,” Holdip said, adding that Coolman failed to trip a panic button installed in the kitchen. Although he refered to Coolman’s questionable conduct during her abduction, Holdip warned the jurors that he was not on trial for her murder.

    “We have no evidence that he was in fact responsible for his wife’s abduction. You have to consider only the evidence before you,” Holdip said. Lastly, Holdip focused on the evidence of Cpl Darryl Hunte, the officer who allegedly found a gun at the home of one of the accused, Keida Garcia, which was eventually linked to spent shells found at the kidnapping scene.

    Source: http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-05-27/cops%E2%80%99-curious-behaviour-raised

  • A comedy of errors and a waste of time. Criminals are smarter than lawyers and police. I guess divine retribution will pursue these killers.

  • Most people believe the real killers did not face the judge and jury. They are happy trying to cleanse their political character, so as to re-appear as changed candidates

  • A look back at the Vindra murder trial

    Wednesday, June 1 2016

    THE Vindra Naipaul-Coolman case ended yesterday at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, with the jury returning verdicts of not guilty for eight of ten men who were on trial for the kidnap and murder of the Xtra Foods Supermarket CEO. The jury could not decide unanimously on the guilt or innocence of two other accused men. Newsday’s Court Editor Jada Loutoo looks back on aspects of the case.

    THE CASE

    VINDRA Naipaul-Coolman was “sawed up like a piece of meat” and her dismembered body disposed at sea by her kidnappers who grew frustrated that their demands for money were not being met. The gruesome details of Naipaul-Coolman’s murder were presented to jurors by the prosecution at the start of the case. It was alleged that on December 19, 2006, Naipaul-Coolman, 52, was kidnapped from the driveway of her Lange Park, Chaguanas home. A ransom demand was eventually made for her safe release and some of it was paid, but she was not freed.

    Her body was never found.

    “They cut off her legs up to her belly. They cut off both arms from her shoulders. They cut off her head. They cut up her belly and her chest,” Israel Khan, SC, said at the opening of the case. “Her body parts were placed into black garbage bags for disposal.” The body parts, which were initially buried in two garbage bags in a hole in La Puerta, Diego Martin– where most of the men lived– were later exhumed by the men and dumped out at sea.

    Her body was cut up using an electric saw used for cutting meat.

    This was done after she was shot in the chest by one of the men.

    The prosecution is unable to say whether Naipaul-Coolman was actually dead or alive when she was dismembered. The motive behind the killing of the Xtra Foods Supermarket chief executive officer, Khan said, was “greed”.

    Keon Gloster, a brother of one of the men on trial, gave evidence against the men and although he recanted his evidence, the prosecution led his initial statement in which he spoke of Naipaul-Coolman’s killing.

    While testifying last year, Gloster repeatedly claimed that he was coerced by police into implicating the accused men, most of whom he is related to. Gloster was deemed as a hostile witness and his sworn statements given to police were tendered into evidence and read to the jury.

    Prosecutors also relied on the statement of Earl Trimmingham, who also implicated the men.

    James had been fingered as the man who actually pulled the trigger, shooting Naipaul-Coolman in the chest at the house in La Puerta, while sitting on a pool table in an unfurnished red brick house at La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin.

    DNA evidence found at the red brick house was said to be that of Naipaul-Coolman.

    The men on trial were related to each other and had grown up in the La Puerta district. Shervon Peters and Devon Peters are twin brothers. Anthony Gloster, also called Anthony Peters, is the twins’ elder brother. Marlon Trimmingham and Earl Trimmingham are brothers. Keida Garcia and Jamile Garcia are also brothers. Raphael Williams, who died in prison in 2011 awaiting trial, were the Garcias’ brother-in-law.

    Joel Fraser is the Peters’ cousin.

    Fraser at the time of the killing lived at Keon Gloster, his cousin’s home. Keon Gloster, the prosecution’s main witness, is the cousin to the Peters’ brothers and Fraser.

    Allan Martins and Shervon Peters grew up together and were said to be very close friends. Martins also had a sexual relationship with Shervon Peters’ sister. WHO’S WHO Presiding judge: Justice Malcolm Holdip On trial: Shervon “Buffy” Peters; Keida Garcia, Marlon “Mad Man Marlon” Trimmingham; Earl “Bobo” Trimmingham; Ronald “22” Armstrong; Antonio “Hedges” Charles; Joel “Ninja” Fraser; Lyndon “Iron” James; Allan “Scanny” Martins; Devon “Blackboy” Peters; Anthony Dwayne Gloster, also called Anthony Peters and Jamile “WASA” Garcia.

    Prosecutors: Israel Khan, SC; Gilbert Peterson, SC; Senior State Attorney Joy Balkaran, Kelly Thompson and Sophia Sandy.

    Defence: Mario Merritt, Selwyn Mohammed, Colin Selvon, Ian Brooks, Wayne Sturge, Joseph Pantor and Lennox Sankersingh.

    Attorney Ulric Skerritt represented Joel Fraser who was freed in January.

    Source: http://www.newsday.co.tt/crime_and_court/0,228572.html

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