Parika fuel dealer’s murder: Witness testifies accused’s hand, clothing had tested positive for gun-power residue

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As the trial continues for Curt Thomas, who is accused of the April 30, 2016 murder of Parika fuel dealer, Seeram Singh, Government Analyst and expert in trace evidence, Senior Superintendent Phillip Azore testified that the accused hands and clothing tested positive for gun-powder residue.

According to the indictment presented against Thomas by State Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy and Tyra Bakker, on April 30, 2016, he murdered Seeram Singh during the course/furtherance of a robbery.

Singh 52, of Lot 40 Parika Outfall, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), was stabbed to his abdomen and shot twice – to his head and hip. The bullet to his head was at close range and may have been the fatal shot.

At the time, media reports stated that Singh was talking to someone on his mobile phone when he was attacked and stabbed. In an attempt to raise an alarm, the injured man ran towards a shop, but the gunman gave chase and caught up with him.

A scuffle ensued, and it was then the suspect discharged two rounds at Singh.

Reports are as the businessman fell, the gunman relieved him of two gold chains and escaped. Singh was rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, West Coast Demerara (WCD), where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

During his testimony on Wednesday, Senior Superintendent Azore relayed to the court the part he played in the investigation. The court heard that Azore was in charge of testing the accused for gun-powder residue.

During Wednesday’s hearing of the trial, the Government’s Analyst and expert in trace evidence explained that he found chemicals consistent with gun-power residue on a black jersey and samples collected from a right hand, which were items submitted to him for testing.

Prior to Azore’s testimony, Inspector Lallbachand Dial and Police Corporal Krishnadat Singh had testified to having handed over several items containing samples for GSR testing.

Dial had told the court that he had swabbed Curt’s hands and nostrils for gun-powder residue and afterward, placed the samples to air-dry before handing it over to Azore for testing.

In addition, Corporal Singh had relayed to the court that he had escorted the accused to his home to retrieve clothing, which he wore on the day of the crime.

Following Azore’s testimony, the case was adjourned to November 2, when the prosecution is expected to close its case.