A 12-year-old boy and his 18-year-old brother appeared in court yesterday charged with the killing of 15-year-old Emmanuel Okera near a church at Calcutta #2, Freeport on Friday last.
The 12-year-old was charged with manslaughter, granted bail in the sum of $75,000 and placed in the care of his parents. His brother was charged with murder and remanded into custody. They appeared before magistrate Siumongal Ramsaran in the Couva Magistrates Court and are scheduled to reappear on September 14.
The charges were laid early yesterday morning by Sgt Susan John of the Region 3 Homicide Bureau after receiving advice from Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Joan Honore-Paul shortly after 11 pm on Wednesday.
In court yesterday the parents of the accused wept as the charges were read to them.
Okera was last seen alive at about 3pm on Thursday last while he was selling vegetables near the Bethel House of God church at Calcutta, Freeport. When his mother Abia Williams called him on his cellular phone at about 4 pm, she got no response and decided to go to the church and look for her son but he was not found.
She went to the Couva Police Station and reported him missing. Police visited the area and searched. They found traces of blood on the church compound and later found Okera’s body floating in a pond at the back of the church.
An autopsy revealed that he was stabbed at least 15 times.
Okera was laid to rest on Wednesday after a funeral service at the same church which allowed him to sell his vegetables, including melongene which he planted, to held support his siblings with their schooling.
At the funeral, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh described Okera as a respectable businessman even at his tender age.
“He should be given a national award for single handedly being able to provide for a family of six,” Indarsingh said.
Minister Kenneth Bynoe said, “While Emmanuel could not go to school himself, he was seen accompanying his siblings to school each morning on foot.”