2 plead guilty to killing Sangre Grande PH driver in 2010

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo

TWO men were sentenced to 30 years of hard labour on Tuesday for killing a Sangre Grande taxi driver in 2010.

Timothy Mohammed and Miguel Missirie were before Justice Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo charged with the murder of PH-taxi driver Abraham “Dex” Augustine on June 5, 2010.

They pleaded guilty to Augustine’s murder under the felony murder principle after it was accepted by the State in a plea agreement.

The two received their usual one-third discount for their guilty pleas and were also credited with the time they have already spent on remand, leaving them with six years to serve on their sentences.

The judge warned them to stay away from a life of crime after their release.

“I don’t want you committing as much as a littering offence.”

The prosecution’s evidence was that close to midnight on June 5, another PH-taxi driver was on the Vega de Oropouche stand in front of the Sangre Grande magistrates’ court when two men asked if he would take them to Salybia for $50. He refused and they got Augustine, who was also working the Toco to Sangre Grande route, to take them.

A woman passenger in Augustine’s car told police on the way to Matura, she began feeling afraid, since the two men were singing louder than the music in the car and one had his face covered with a jersey. She struck up a conversation with Augustine, asking for his cellphone, on which she asked if he knew the men and told him they had to prepare themselves to be robbed.

The woman got out of the car close to the high school and one of the men went to sit in the front seat. She flagged down the other driver’s taxi, as she had seen it on the taxi stand earlier, and told him to follow Augustine, because the men would rob him.

He agreed, but picked up a friend and went on his way.

Sometime after 1 am, that driver said he heard a siren pass and thought of Augustine.

Later that morning, a family of four returning to the Salybia beach resort from turtle-watching saw a man lying in the road covered in blood. The father took his family to the resort and then got two security guards to accompany him to the spot where they had seen the man’s body. The police were contacted and Augustine was taken to the Sangre Grande Hospital, where he died.

When arrested five days later, Mohammed admitted to killing Augustine, telling police he had stabbed him twice in the back. Augustine’s car was pushed off a precipice.

He also said sometime after stabbing Augustine he told “some fellas at a bar” he had killed the driver of the Matrix car “for fun.” One of the men at the bar was Augustine’s brother and soon after this conversation, Mohammed was arrested.

Missirie also confessed to killing Augustine but said they only wanted to take his car, but when he began to fight, they stabbed him and took the music deck from the car.

An autopsy said Augustine, 23, died of internal chest injuries and haemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds.

Augustine’s car was recovered some 40 feet down a precipice a mile into the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

Augustine’s mother, in a victim impact statement to the court, asked the two how they felt knowing they still had their lives while they had taken her son’s. She also urged them to stay on the right path whenever they are released from prison.

Mohammed was represented by public defenders Ravi Rajah and Kameika Peters. Public defenders Nicholas Rampersadsingh and Aleena Ramjag represented Missirie.

The State was represented by Veona Neal-Munroe.