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Sunday 21 July 2019
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2005 murder trial aborted

Hall of Justice, Port of Spain
Hall of Justice, Port of Spain

On Monday a High Court judge had to abort the trial of two men accused of a murder some 14 years ago, because of the prejudicial effect certain information, which came out during the testimony of a prosecution witness, would have on the jury and their deliberations.

Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas ruled in favour of an application by the State to have the jury discharged.

On trial were Colin “Mouse” Skinner and Abby Johnson, who were accused of the murder of Colin George, which took place on November 23, 2005, at Quarry Street, Diego Martin.

Although the judge’s ruling and the reason for their discharge were given in the jury’s presence, St Clair-Douglas prohibited the media from publishing the reasons for his decision, since the men are seeking an early retrial, possibly in November.

After he discharged the jury, the judge also ordered the retrial for the two men.

But neither Skinner nor Johnson was happy with the early end to their trial, which began in June. When the jury was discharged, both men began shouting, complaining of the length of time they have been in jail. After several outbursts from them, the judge instructed the police to take them out of the court.

The mother of one of the men, who was also in court, was also ordered removed after she too began complaining loudly from the back of the courtroom.

Skinner and Johnson were represented by attorneys Ian Brooks and Larry Williams. Candace Nanton prosecuted for the State.

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