A man was saved from going on trial for murder a second time. Reason? The so-called eyewitness was missing. The police were unable to locate this witness in time for the trial.
After spending almost a decade on remand, Dwayne Bramble, 37, walked out the Port-of-Spain High Court a free man on Wednesday, after Justice Gillian Lucky stayed his indictment over the police’s failure to find the State’s main witness.
Lucky ruled that homicide detectives who charged Bramble with murdering former Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) foreman Brandon Duke in 2007, had failed to take reasonable steps to locate his (Duke) son Lyndon.
Lucky denied an application from State prosecutors to tender his witness statement into evidence in lieu of him testifying and being cross-examined. A similar application was allowed during Bramble’s preliminary inquiry and at his first trial in 2014, which ended in a hung jury.
Lucky noted that police merely did surveillance on the 19-year-old’s home and only spoke to his grandmother, which were the same steps they took during the inquiry and previous trial.
She also agreed with Bramble’s lawyers that police should have increased their attempts to locate Lyndon earlier this year and should not have waited until two months before the trial was due to begin.
Lucky added, “Things should and could have been done earlier and the court can not turn a blind eye to this delay.”
Duke, of Upper Fairley Street, Tunapuna, was shot and killed on May 25, 2007. Duke had taken his son to a parlour in the community to purchase a soft drink and was ambushed by a gunman, who shot him several times.
Duke’s son escaped and identified Bramble, of Achong Trace, Balthazar Street, Tunapuna, as the gunman. Bramble was represented by Evans Welch and Kelston Pope.
Dwayne Bramble, center, with his lawyers Evans Welch, right and Kelston Pope.