State gets time to respond in domestic-violence murder lawsuit

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILED LAWSUIT: Tot Lampkin who has filed a lawsuit against the State. FILE PHOTO –

THE State has been given additional time to file a response to the lawsuit filed by the mother of a domestic violence victim, who was killed five years ago by her abusive, jealous and possessive ex-boyfriend.

Tot Lampkin of Carenage, is the mother of Samantha Stacey Isaacs, who was shot in both legs and behind the head by Kahriym Garcia on December 16, 2017. Isaacs was left on the roadway in Carenage. Garcia later killed himself.

In September, Lampkin filed a lawsuit against the State alleging her daughter’s constitutional rights were infringed by the failure of state agents to act on her daughter’s complaints.

She says this failure deprived her daughter of the right to life, security of the person, and equality before the law.

The lawsuit also seeks declarations that Isaacs was subjected to cruel and unusual treatment, without respect for her family life, without equality of treatment from public authorities and that the actions of state agents amounted to discriminatory treatment.

Douglas Mendes, SC, leads Clay Hackett for Lampkin while Fyard Hosein, SC, and Rishi Dass are representing the State.

The lawsuit came up for hearing on Tuesday before Justice Robin Mohammed when Dass asked for an extension of time for the State to file its response.

With there being no objection from Mendes, the State was given until June 21 to file, with Lampkin’s legal team expected to respond by July 12.

Mohammed said because the case was of national interest, he was giving attorneys an early hearing although judges are “bursting at the seams” with heavy caseloads.

Justice Robin Mohammed. –

The matter has been adjourned to July 27, at which time trial dates are expected to be set and a determination would be made on how the trial proceeds.

In court documents obtained by Newsday, Isaacs reported being repeatedly beaten, attacked with a knife, while Garcia had a gun, harassed at her workplace, humiliated by the sharing of her nude images and threatened with death in the presence of police officers. Yet no action was taken.

In court transcripts, she pleaded with a magistrate to grant her a protection order and although Garcia agreed to stay away, the magistrate refused to grant the order, saying Isaacs was using that as a ploy to get maintenance for her infant son.

In one hearing the magistrate dismissed her application seeking a protection order after the matter was stood down for just 22 seconds.

The PCA had recommended disciplinary action against one officer at the Carenage station for neglect of duty to investigate Isaac’s complaint against Garcia, relating to the knife attack.

After an investigation, the Police Complaints Division subsequently found no evidence to support the PCA’s recommendation.