Niece breaks down on stand, recalls identifying body
Taxi driver’s murderAnastasia Persaud, the niece of murdered Pegasus Hotel taxi driver Rubranauth Jeeboo, testified before Justice Brassington Reynolds as the Lorenzo Forde murder trial continued at the High Court in Georgetown.Persaud, who had to take a few moments to compose herself during her testimony, told the court that at the time of her uncle’s December 2013 killing, she resided with him and other relatives at their Lot 215 Delph Street, Campbellville, Georgetown home.Accused: Lorenzo FordeOn Wednesday, the witness confirmed that her uncle had 2 Toyota model yellow cars – a Carina and an Allion. She told the court that he used the Carina to drive to work around the time of his demise, and the Allion was parked in the Pegasus compound. The witness told the court that Jeeboo used both cars to ply his trade as a taxi driver. She also noted that his working hours were irregular and dependent on requests from the hotel and customers.Jeeboo’s niece further indicated that she and other family members would call her uncle via telephone every three hours.The jury heard that at about 08:15 hrs on December 27, 2013, while at home, she saw her uncle getting ready to leave the residence for work, wearing a light blue shirt jack, dark blue pants, a pair of black socks and black shoes. She also recalled that on December 28 at 03:45h, she was at home with her mother and other relatives when she called her uncle, but his phone was off.“I called the hotel and spoke to two of his colleagues, but got no positive response,” Persaud indicated. She told the court that after making further calls to his colleagues at the airport, she became anxious and worried.The witness said that between the pre-dawn and the early daylight hours, she and her mother checked various hospitals to see if the taxi driver was involved in an accident.“When I got home I saw three gentlemen, who introduced themselves as Police officers,” she noted.The court heard that she later accompanied the Policemen to the Lyken Funeral Home, where she identified her uncle’s body.In tears, Persaud also recalled seeing her uncle’s clothes torn, with blood on his shirt jack and one side shoe missing. The witness broke down, and was offered some moments to compose herself before continuing her testimony, when she later noted that she identified her uncle’s Allion motorcar, which contained black dust on it and the taxi service logo was torn off.Also testifying on Wednesday was Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh.The Pegasus Hotel taxi driver was found in a heap of garbage at Caneview Avenue, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. The accused, Lorenzo Forde, was just 18 when he was charged with the taxi driver’s murder. The Prosecution contends that between December 27 and 28, 2013, he murdered Jeeboo in the course or furtherance of a robbery.Forde is represented by attorneys Hewley Griffith and Rachael Bakker, while State counsels Lisa Cave, Shawnette Austin and Tiffini Lyken are presenting the prosecution’s case.