AFTER close to two decades in prison, a Morvant man has been acquitted of murder at a judge-only trial.
Atiba Phillip was freed on Wednesday, after Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds found him not guilty of the September 12, 2007, murder of Leon Best, at Cipriani Avenue, Second Caledonia, Morvant.
In her ruling, Ramsumair-Hinds said she did not believe the evidence of the State’s main witness, a woman who came forward six days after the murder alleging she saw the shooting.
That witness’s testimony was that Best was her neighbour and she was in her gallery when she heard gunshots. She claimed she dropped to the ground, crawled to her door and made certain observations.
However, she could not identify either the victim or Phillip when police interviewed her on the night of the shooting.
Ramsumair-Hinds said the witness’s evidence was not credible and her account was implausible.
After she delivered her ruling, Phillip was freed.
The trial was held at the O’Meara Judicial Complex, Arima, and Phillip was represented by attorneys Wayne Sturge and Danielle Rampersad.
The State was represented by prosecutors Solange Devenish and Indira Chinebas.