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Friday 15 November 2019
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Bus driver gets $150,000 bail

Charged with unlawfully killing child

Sherill Smartt
Sherill Smartt

THE Couva bus driver who was expected to appear before a magistrate on Thursday in connection with the death of her three-year-old passenger Isaiah Hazel has been granted $150,000 surety bail.

Sherill Smartt, the mother of three who lives at Cemetery Street in Couva, yesterday faced Couva magistrate Christine Charles who read the charge. The charge alleged that on July 4 at the Southern Main Road in California, Smartt unlawfully killed Isaiah.

It was laid indictably and she was not called upon to enter a plea.

Attorney Louis Andrews represented the 31-year-old accused and in his application for bail said she had no previous convictions or pending matters.

Prosecutor Sgt Lincoln Bonnett did not object to bail being granted. He told the magistrate he has to write to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a state attorney to prosecute the case.

The magistrate granted the surety bail and adjourned the case to August 12, at which time the prosecution is expected to disclose the summary of evidence.

On Thursday, Sgt Richardson Elvin of the Homicide Bureau Region III laid the charge and Smartt was expected to appear before a Couva magistrate that same day.

But when police went to her home to serve her the charge papers, she could not be found and calls to her phone went unanswered.

Newsday learnt that she gave herself up to police yesterday and was later taken to face the magistrate.

Preschoolers found Isaiah, fondly called “Zay Zay” unresponsive on July 4 on the floor of the school bus driven by the accused woman.

An autopsy later said he died of hyperthermia caused by extreme heat and dehydration.

It is believed the boy fell asleep on the bus in the morning, and the driver thought all the children had been dropped off at their schools. When she returned to collect the children, they found the boy and she fainted.

She later had a panic attack and was hospitalised for some days. After doctors discharged her from the San Fernando General Hospital, police arrested and later released her.

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