Romney laid to rest under dark clouds

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Kaddafi Romney, mother of murdered state witness Jehlano Romney, consoles a realtive during his funeral at Rich Plain, Diego Martin on Thursday. – Angelo Marcelle

Rain did not deter over 100 mourners from paying their last respects to murdered witness Je’Hlano Romney at his funeral in Diego Martin on Thursday afternoon.

Romney, 30, was gunned down at his father’s Poinsettia Drive, Morvant, home on Sunday night.

On April 22 he was accused of murdering PC Clarence Gilkes at upper Richplain Road, Diego Martin.

He fled the scene and went into hiding, surrendering to police a week later with his attorney Criston Williams.

Romney was later considered to be a witness when Gilkes’ autopsy revealed he was shot from behind with a police-issued bullet, contradicting the original account given by the police.

Most of the mourners dressed in traditional Islamic wear packed the tents shortly after 1 pm at the Al-Huda masjid, Upper Richplain Road, for his Janazah Salah (Islamic funeral prayer).

Among the mourners were Romney’s relatives and friends.

This is the same masjid that was raided by police from the Western Division on April 22, when Romney was originally considered to be a suspect in Gilkes’ murder.

The masjid which consists of two tents is surrounded by houses on both sides.

The masjid is located halfway up the hill on Richplain Road, walking distance away from where Romney was confronted by police.

Murdered state witness Jehlano Romney is taken away to be buried after final rights at hs funeral at Rich Plain, Diego Martin on Thursday. – Angelo Marcelle

While there were some showers before the ceremony began, it eased enough allowing mourners to reach the masjid.

Several mourners waited on the road outside and followed the prayers as they were recited in Arabic.

A large group of heavily armed police from the Western Division Task Force stood outside the masjid and kept a close watch on the proceedings.

The ceremony lasted only 15 minutes with no eulogy or tributes.

Romney’s body was loaded in a nearby hearse immediately after the prayers were completed.

All of the mourners left the masjid as quickly as possible in nearby cars.

Romney’s mother Kadaffi Romney had to be consoled by relatives as the body was loaded into the hearse.

He was buried at the Munroe Road Cemetery.