Biche man admits killing friend in fight over bay rum

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Andrew “Blackie” Kalicharan –

A BICHE man has pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing his friend during a fight over a bottle of bay rum in 2016.

On Tuesday, Andrew “Blakie” Kalicharan pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility, in a plea deal with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Kalicharan was initially charged with the murder of Jankoo Sylvester on July 13, 2016.

The plea deal was finalised on November 14, prosecutor Charmaine Samuel told Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, who accepted the guilty plea.

The two men were liming in a galvanised shed at Plum Mitan, Biche, drinking bay rum, when they had an argument over it.

Kalicharan initially told police he knew he hit someone, but did not know who it was until the next morning.

He also said Sylvester hit him first and in turn, he hit his friend before going to sleep.

“I hit him five times with a piece of wood. He hit me first and I fall asleep,” he told police.

It was only when he woke, he learned Sylvester had died. The owner of the shed, who allowed Kalicharan to occupy it, had found Sylvester’s body.

An autopsy by pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov found Sylvester, 56, died of blunt force trauma to his head.

Kalicharan was charged by PC Carlon Denoon.

Sylvester’s brother, Pancham Sylvester, provided a victim impact statement, which the prosecutor read out at Tuesday’s hearing.

He said Jankoo was the eldest of seven siblings and had no children of his own, so was the favourite of all his nieces and nephews.

Sylvester’s family called him Sylvester Stallone, after the movie star, the youngest sibling said.

He said Jankoo’s death came as a shock to the family. Pancham said his own children only know Jankoo through stories.

“I myself experience a sense of loss when I go to visit the family home in Plum Mitan…

“His death has had an impact on our lives.”

The youngest Sylvester sibling described his brother’s death as “vicious, merciless and brutal.

“His death still angers us,” Pancham said, as he asked for his brother’s killer to be held accountable for his actions.

Pancham Sylvester and Kalicharan’s brother Henry were at Tuesday’s virtual hearing. Ramsumair-Hinds is expected to sentence Kalicharan on Thursday.

He is represented by public defenders Chimere Gibson-Wadi and Khadija Sinanan.