A former soldier has been freed of murder after spending more than two years in prison.
Ross Russell Jr, 25, was acquitted by Deputy Chief Magistrate Nanette Forde-John in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court on Monday, after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed a notice of discontinuance against him.
the State had sufficient evidence linking his client to the murder of Selwyn Gaff, who was killed on June 5, 2016.
However, Russell’s cousin, Balondemu Julius, 36, who was also a soldier and was jointly charged with the crime, was not as lucky.
Forde-John will rule on legal submissions relating to the case against Julius on September 7.
According to reports, on the day of his murder, Gaff and his friend, Jesse Quashie, accompanied three men on a hike from Diego Martin to Chaguaramas.
The friends were reportedly ambushed by the three men while walking through a trail between Covigne and Macqueripe.
Quashie was shot but managed to run away and reported the incident to police. He directed police to the location, but by the time Gaff was taken to St James Medical Complex, he was dead.
Russell and Quashie were charged after being discharged by the Defence Force.
They were also slapped with additional charges for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition and for shooting Quashie with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. Russell was also freed of those charges.
Russell Jr is the son of former national goalkeeper, Ross Russell Sr.
ROSS RUSSELL JR