AFTER spending almost a decade in jail on the charge of murdering his neighbour, Derrick Cudjoe also called “Puss” was set free yesterday. A jury of 12 found Cudjoe not guilty of murdering Steve Roopchand on April 19, 2009.
The trial, which began two weeks ago, was heard before Justice Maria Wilson in the Third Criminal Assizes in the San Fernando High Court. Defence attorney Ernest Koylass, SC, represented Cudjoe.
The state’s case, brought by prosecutor Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal, was that around 7.30pm on April 19 Roopchand, 39, was walking toward his home near Friendship Village Recreation Ground.
His mother and wife were walking with him while his father and sister were watching them from a distance.
A man dressed in black ran up to Roopchand and shot him several times.
Roopchand allegedly told relatives, “Puss shoot meh, take care of my children,” before he died. The state called 13 witnesses in total.
Cudjoe did not take the stand but called his nephew to testify on his behalf.
His defence was that he was at home when Roopchand was killed. After the not-guilty verdict was handed down, Cudjoe said he was very happy that his innocence had been proven.