2 Arima men plead guilty to killing ex-ACP in 2011

Retired ACP Cecil Carrington -
Retired ACP Cecil Carrington -

TWO men have pleaded guilty to the murder of retired ACP Cecil Carrington at his Manzanilla hotel in 2011.

On February 28, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds sentenced Ricardo Dalipsingh, also known as Danraj, and Berhane Redhead, also known as Darway Congo.

They each have a little over three years left to serve on their sentences. Dalipsingh will serve the remaining three years, seven months and six days at hard labour and Redhead will serve three years, seven months and 17 days, also at hard labour.

They both received credit for their guilty pleas and the time they had already spent incarcerated.

On February 27, both men pleaded guilty to felony murder after entering a plea deal earlier in February with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The judge, who also heard testimonials from the men and statements from Carrington’s wife and son, accepted their pleas.

Carrington was shot twice in the lobby of his hotel, Carrie’s on the Bay, on January 19, 2011.

Dalipsingh and Redhead were part of a group that planned to rob the hotel of $160,000 in cash and two firearms.

An acquaintance heard of the plan while at a basketball court in Arima, and days after the shooting, saw one of the men with a .38 revolver.

After he was arrested, Dalipsingh told the police the plan was for him to pretend to rent a room at the hotel and rob it. He did so and Carrington gave him a book to enter his name and address. His prints were left on the book.

He said immediately after, two others ran inside the hotel and announced a robbery. Dalipsingh “raffed” Carrington and when he saw him dipping into his pants pocket for his gun, he held down his hands.

He said he asked Carrington if he had a gun and although he said he did not, he saw the weapon’s imprint.

“I told him, ‘I holding it,'” he related to the police. Dalipsingh said Carrington was “kinda strong” and while they were struggling, he told him, “You can’t be on that. All we want is the money.”

Dalipsingh said all he heard was “boom, boom,” but did not know who had been shot. He saw his accomplices running and he took Carrington’s gun and keys.

Redhead was interviewed in prison, as by that time, in October 2011, months after the killing, he had begun serving a nine-month sentence for firearm possession. He denied killing anybody but also talked about the robbery plan.

Acknowledging that the killing was brutal, the judge said it was not the worst of the worst, so she accepted the starting-point sentence suggestion of 26 years for both men. From that, she reduced it by two years for their efforts at rehabilitation in prison and expressions of remorse.

However, she made it clear sentencing was “fact-specific” and did not want her sentence in this case to be considered a precedent, but explained it was done in the context of the terms of the plea agreement.

Ramsumair-Hinds also had a message for the business community.

“It is difficult for someone to be released from custody, with a conviction or otherwise, to gain lawful employment. We expect that when allowed to reintegrate, they avoid recidivism…(but) please consider, we all play a role in the success of rehabilitation and avoiding recidivism.”

On Tuesday, in their victim-impact statements, Carrington’s son and wife spoke about the life-altering effects his death had on the family.

Christopher Carrington said he and his sister lost out on the opportunity to further their education at colleges in the US. His sister had been accepted to Howard University to study law and he was expected to study computer technology.

He said he had to get a job to support the family while also working at the hotel.

“It was a struggle. I became drained and overwhelmed…The bills began piling up.”

Eventually, the family had to sell the hotel.

His mother, he said, still works at the age of 70, and although he has his own family and three children, he still supports her financially when he can.

For him, knowing his father’s killers were behind bars was a comfort, although he said he had forgiven them.

Carrington’s widow Julie said she felt a sense of relief when her husband’s killers were arrested. She said the family tried hard to adjust to a “new way of life” after his death and bemoaned having to sell the hotel since she knew her husband, if he was still alive, would have kept it.

In a plea of mitigation, Dalipsingh’s attorney, public defender Michelle Gonzales asked the court to consider his medical condition since he has had multiple heart attacks, a stroke and surgery for kidney stones.

She also read a statement he prepared expressing his remorse. He admitted his actions in 2011 were “misguided” and said he remained “haunted” by what he had done.

“The weight of my guilt will be carried with me forever.”

Redhead had three letters which were read out for the judge. He said he felt shame and guilt and at the time, he did not fully understand the seriousness of life or appreciate the freedom he had.

While not blaming anyone, he said he dropped out of school and enrolled in the Milat (Military-Led Academic Training) programme, where he earned trophies as a promising cadet.

Redhead admitted he did not have focus or discipline and said he did not blame anyone for his faults.

Ramsumair-Hinds said both men had a foundation to build on when they are eventually released from prison.

Redhead was represented by public defender Adelia Jordan. Charmaine Samuel represented the State.


"2 Arima men plead guilty to killing ex-ACP in 2011"

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