Two former T&T soldiers charged with murder

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According to a Trinidad Guardian report, two former Trinidad and Tobago soldiers appeared in court yesterday charged with the murder of a Diego Martin man who was shot and left to die in a forested area in Chaguaramas earlier this month.

Ross Russell Jr and Balondemu Julius were remanded into custody by Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar after appearing before her in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court charged with murdering Selwyn Gaff on June 5.

Both men were also slapped with additional charges of possession of illegal guns and ammunition and for shooting Gaff’s friend, Jesse Quashie, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. They were charged alongside an unnamed man who is yet to be detained by police, according to the Guardian.

Accused: Julius “Demo” Balondemu and Ross Russell hide their faces as they leave the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court, yesterday. (Photo: KERWIN PIERRE, Trinidad Express)
Accused: Julius “Demo” Balondemu and Ross Russell hide their faces as they leave the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court, yesterday. (Photo: KERWIN PIERRE, Trinidad Express)

According to reports, on the day of his murder Gaff and Quashie accompanied three men to hike from Diego Martin to Chaguaramas.

The friend was reportedly ambushed by the three men while walking through a trail between Covigne and Macqueripe. Quashie was shot but managed to run away and report the incident to police.

He directed police to the location but by the time Gaff was taken to St James Health Facility he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Russell Jr, the son of former national footballer Ross Russell Sr, and Julius were detained by the Defence Force and were handed over to homicide detectives after they were discharged from the organisation last Monday.

Russell Sr coached the Defence Force football team which won two Pro League titles before he retired last year. His son was a member of the team. Russell Sr is the current coach of Pro League outfit North East Stars. The duo was represented by Criston J Williams and Karuna Bisramsingh. They will reappear in court on July 5.

 

 

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