3 plead guilty to killing pensioner in 2012 robbery plan

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A WOMAN who concocted a plan with three men to rob a Gasparillo pensioner after the two were about to become intimate has been sentenced by a High Court judge for her role in the man’s death in 2012.

Two of her accomplices were also sentenced on January 10, by Justice Hayden St-Clair Douglas.

On July 25, 2023, Natalie King, Anthony Allemany and Neil Slater pleaded guilty to killing Andre Joachim, 69, at his home at Springland, Gasparillo.

They were sentenced on Wednesday.

After deductions were given in keeping with the sentencing principles set by the Appeal Court, which include the time they have spent in custody and discounts for their guilty pleas, King was left with six years, three months and ten days to serve. Allemany was left with five years, seven months and 12 days, and Slater will serve one year, seven months and 14 days.

Although her attempts to assist Joachim and her co-operation with the police after his death, her remorse, and her efforts at self-improvement were recognised, the judge frowned on her 17 prison infractions and said they could not be overlooked.

“Prisoners need to understand their conduct while incarcerated will be taken into consideration. A prisoner with one infraction cannot be treated in the same way as one with 17 infractions,” the judge said.

Allemany had only one infraction, while Slater had none and was recognised for his “excellent” record.

The sentences the three received will run from the date they pleaded guilty and will be served with hard labour.

St Clair-Douglas said the plan to rob was premeditated and had fatal consequences.

According to the agreed facts, on June 29, 2012, WPC Jardine received a call at 1.35 am, at the Gasparillo police station, from a woman who reported a robbery at 4 Fifth Street. Two officers – PCs Persad and Pedro – found Joachim naked on the floor of the bedroom, with his mouth, feet and hands bound with duct tape.

Two hours later, Joachim’s grandson received a call from a woman on his grandfather’s phone. That caller said she was working for Joachim and bandits had broken in and killed him, but she had got away and was hiding, since she was illegally in Trinidad.

An autopsy by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov said cotton underwear was wrapped and tied around Joachim’s head, secured by duct tape.

Alexandrov suggested the victim may have been completely or partially manually strangled to the extent that he may have been rendered unconscious.

The tight and deep gag caused him to vomit, which obstructed all his airways. so that he “in essence, choked to death on his own vomit.”

Days later, on July 3, King told Supt Cyril Harry of the plan with three men.

“[A]h plan with three fellas to rob the old man, our intention was not to kill him. Ah come back to Gasparillo and call him, he come and the three fellas was nearby. He carry me home by him and he bring out wine and was playing soft music.

“He was also showing me ah blues on the internet. We then went into his bedroom to have sex and the three fellas come in the room, one was Anthony Allemany, one was Harry and ah don’t know the other one name. They tie up he foot and hands and push ah piece ah cloth in he mouth and tie it with duct tape,” was her statement to the police.

She also said she had called the ambulance and police after leaving Joachim’s home and promised to turn herself in.

Two days later, she was arrested on Henry Street, Port of Spain.

In a second interview, she again confessed that the plan was made on June 12 to rob the pensioner, who previously hired someone King knew, but had fired the other woman. King alleged her friend told her Joachim was a “cheap” and “miserable old man who “deserved to be robbed.”

She said she called Slater and Allemany and told both men of the plan to rob. They agreed. She then called Joachim pretending to respond to his advertisement for a cleaner and agreed to meet him.

On June 28, 2012, she met with the other two men, and a third, who, she said, was the man who choked Joachim, but shedidn’t know his name. They went to a fast-food outlet in Gasparillo where she and the pensioner met, before having a meal and leaving for his home.

While there, they spent time together and she left, promising to return to spend the night, packed a bag and returned to Gasparillo, where she met Joachim again later that night and went to his home.

King let Allemany and the unnamed man into the house at about 1 am on June 29, 2012 –Slater did not enter the house – and returned to Joachim. The facts said they took off their clothing, spent 20 minutes together and went upstairs, when Allemany and the other man entered the bedroom.

They locked Joachim’s neck, demanding “the money and the gun,” and told Allemany to tie up the victim, which he did, with the duct tape.

The facts said the unnamed man stuffed a boxer shorts in Joachim’s mouth, which was secured with the tape, and when he stopped struggling, Allemany said, “Allyuh, like this man dead.”

King collected her things, removed the duct tape from Joachim’s hands and they left.

After she was dropped off in Chaguanas, she called for an ambulance, gave her name as Melissa Austin, and then called the Gasparillo police station.

When arrested, Allemany told police he did not kill anyone, but admitted he was there when it happened.

He also said it was King and the unknown man who taped Joachim’s mouth and searched the room.

Slater was arrested in D’Abadie on July 9, 2012, and told police, two days before the incident, King had called, telling him of a “wok” she had and that she wanted him to organise a “chariot” for her to go to Gasparillo.

He said he went with King and the others to Gasparillo where he met the “mister” and sometime later they went to the house. He said a “rastaman” came out of the house and said, “The man dead.”

All three were charged after police received instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The State was represented by Rhea Libert.

The three were represented by Shane Patience, Adaphia Trancuso-Ribero and Delicia Helwig-Robertson, Shaunelle Hamilton, Renee Atwell and Darryl Douglas, all of the Public Defenders Department.