Avocat cutlass murder suspect surrenders, apologises

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo.

After a week on the run, a 41-year-old murder suspect surrendered to South Western Division police on Monday.

Before being taken into custody, he called a relative by phone and apologised.

He also told the relative his “mind went blank at the time” of the attack.

“He said he was sorry. He did it out of anger,” the close relative said on Tuesday. “I did not know where he was. He said he went in hiding because he was afraid of what he did. He said he needed time to think. He said he did not know how residents would have reacted (on seeing him).”

The relative said she encouraged him to give himself up, and she and other relatives “do not want to see him in a body bag.”

Premnath Maraj, 37, was chopped and killed in the yard of his friend Taramatee Ramsingh’s home at Avocat Village, South Oropouche, on November 1.

Maraj was cutting the grass with a brush cutter and the suspect complained about stones pitching into his property.

An argument broke out during which the suspect chopped Maraj several times with a cutlass.

Ramsingh, 37, intervened, and the suspect also chopped her in the head, hands and chest. She was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital.

The suspect’s relative said, “I will say my prayers for him. I know he will be spending some time inside (custody), but eventually he would come out for the sake of his two children. He loves and provides for them. He is a good father and is always there for them.”

Maraj lived alone at St Mary’s Village in South Oropouche and was the father of one.

On Sunday, his funeral took place at his mother’s Debe home, followed by cremation at the Shore of Peace cremation site in La Romaine under Hindu rites.

Ramsingh was unable to attend, as she was still hospitalised.

Maraj’s brother Davindranath Maraj said, “The authorities have to make an example of people like him and hang him. He knew what he was doing. This family would never accept that so-called apology, and we want justice.

“Police confirmed he was held, and the case is now in their hands.”

Homicide Bureau Region III police are investigating.