Murder accused ask for protection

PORT OF SPAIN – The four men charged with killing Police Sergeant Hayden Manwaring are asking for protection, claiming death threats and police brutality.

Charged with murdering Manwaring two Tuesdays ago are Kerron Nicholas-Garcia, 19, of Aldana Street, Princes Town; Anthony Clement, 37, of East Dry River, Port of Spain; Kelvin Wallace, 23, of Flamingo Crescent, Pleasantville; and Kofi Cropper, 40, of Manahambre Road, Ste Madeleine.

As they were led into the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday afternoon, one accused cursed media photographers and threw a bag containing his clothing, as he raged about not wanting to be photographed.

And when taken before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, both police and accused killers claimed death threats, with the accused men asked for special protection in prison.

Manwaring was shot in the abdomen on February 19 at Butler Street, San Fernando, after responding to a report of a robbery at a fast food outlet. His colleague, Police Constable Nicholas Philip was also shot in the arm. Manwaring died at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital that night, after undergoing surgery.

Philip is on medical leave, awaiting surgery to remove the bullet still lodged in his arm. The four accused, who were charged by Inspector Seemungal Rampersad, were brought from the Homicide Bureau at around 3:15 p.m. They were led through a crowd of police officers and family members.

Some of their relatives wept.

Manwaring’s family members and the accused were allowed into the courtroom for the hearing, as dozens of police officers stood by.

Defence attorney Gideon McMaster appeared for the men, telling the court he was holding for attorney Ravi Rajcoomar.

The four are charged with murdering Manwaring. Garcia is also charged with shooting Constable Phillip with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and with stealing Manwaring’s Smith and Wesson service firearm, valued at $4,600, and ammunition valued at $30. (Express)

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