Mamoral man freed of 2014 attempted murder charge

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kevin Madoo, centre, stands with his attorneys Shaun Morris, left, and Michael Modeste, right, outside the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, on May 21, after he was acquitted by a High Court judge of an attempted murder charge. – Photo by Jada Loutoo

A Mamoral man who chopped a relative while trying to rescue his father from a beating with a poui branch and save himself from a drubbing in 2014 has been acquitted of attempted murder.

Kevin Madoo’s smile was broad when he spoke with reporters outside the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, when he was freed by Justice Mauriceia Joseph on May 21.

Madoo was before the court in a judge-only trial on a charge of attempting to murder Motital Rampersad, his mother’s cousin, on December 30, 2014.

Madoo’s defence, advanced by his attorneys, public defenders Shaun Morris and Michael Modeste, was denial, fabrication and self-defence.

It was their case that the attack on Madoo’s father and himself led to Madoo’s having to defend them. He denied trying to kill Rampersad, who, he maintained, fabricated his version of events.

In closing submissions, Madoo’s attorneys asked the judge to consider the factors faced by a homeowner confronting an intruder. They argued the common law allowed the court to consider those factors without the need for the “stand your ground” type of legislation found in other jurisdictions.

In her ruling, Joseph held Madoo acted in self-defence.

Speaking to reporters, Madoo said he had to defend his family.

“You have to defend your family. You won’t find me interfering with people, but nobody in their right mind will stand up and see somebody in your house interfering with your family,” he said when asked if, with hindsight, he would have acted differently that day.

Now, he intends to get back the ten years he lost while waiting for the case to come to an end.

“I feel is like ten years of my life just lost.”

It was the State’s case that Madoo, his father and wife were in their unfinished home when Rampersad threatened him and his wife for playing music, three days before the incident.

On December 30, 2014, Madoo’s father and Rampersad had a drink together and while Madoo was in the kitchen, he heard his father bawl out. He ran into the living room, where he saw Rampersad hitting his father with the poui branch over the music.

He ran to rescue his father and was also beaten by Rampersad. A medical report said he suffered soft-tissue injuries.

In his testimony, he said when he fell to the ground he managed to grab his cutlass, which was in the living room with his other garden tools, and began swinging it widely to defend himself from the blows. The two were exchanging blows with the cutlass and the piece of wood until Rampersad ran out of Madoo’s home when he realised he was injured.

Rampersad had three chop wounds, his medical reports said. Madoo also said he knew poui was a hard wood and could do the same amount of damage as a cutlass, since it could break bones or crack skulls.

Madoo and a relative went to the Brasso police station to report the incident. He was arrested and told police Rampersad had run into his house and started beating his father. The police took him to his house, where he handed over the cutlass.