Timehri logger acquitted for 2014 murder

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Family members of 50-year-old Rajesh Roopnarine, called “Popo”, erupted in tears of joy on Thursday as a 12-member jury was directed by Justice Navindra Singh to return a formal not guilty verdict, thus acquitting the accused of a murder charge. He was accused of setting David Campbell alight back in 2014.

The trial had commenced and concluded on Thursday after a number of witnesses testified during the first session.

Roopnarine earlier this week had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

He was represented by Attorneys Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels, while the State was represented by Prosecutors Teriq Mohammed, in association with Tuanna Hardy and Abigail Gibbs.

On conclusion of the series of testimonies on Thursday, Justice Singh had ruled that the poor police investigations had produced insufficient evidence in order to convict Roopnarine on the charge, thus he instructed the empanelled jurors to return the not guilty verdict.

On informing Roopnarine that he is now a free man, Justice Singh told him that he hopes he had learnt his lesson, while advising him to stay clear of future incidents of this nature.

“I hope you learnt your lesson, I can only hope that you live a proper law-abiding life,” Justice Singh stated.

According to reports, at about 17:30h, Roopnarine along with other employees, including Campbell, were imbibing at their work site, when shortly after it is alleged that he set alight a mining camp with four occupants.

While three persons managed to escape, Campbell was trapped in his hammock and sustained third-degree burns. A badly burnt Campbell died seven days after he was reportedly set alight in the mining camp.

The now dead man was employed as a chainsaw operator at the said logging concession. Steve Campbell, brother of the deceased, is said to have witnessed the scene of his brother being burnt but did not make attempts to put the flame out.

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