A High Court Judge will deliver her verdict in the case of a man, accused of murdering a security guard during a casino robbery in 2010, on September 27.
Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds reserved her decision in Anthony “Bussa” Contrera’s judge-alone trial after hearing closing addresses from his attorneys and prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) during a virtual hearing, yesterday afternoon.
Contrera is accused of murdering estate constable Qiydaar Alexander at Jackpot Casino and Members Club, Southern Main Road, Curepe, on January 18, 2010.
According to State prosecutors, Alexander and his co-workers had just opened the casino, when Contrera, a man, and two women, who were pretending to be customers, allegedly entered.
Contrera allegedly shot Alexander in his head before he and his accomplices proceeded to rob two patrons and Billy John, a Malaysian man who managed the casino, of their personal items.
They also robbed John of $151,000 in cash belonging to the casino and its CCTV camera system.
While none of the stolen items was recovered, Contrera was subsequently pointed out as Alexander’s attacker by John and Alexander’s colleague Arthleen Thomas.
Contrera was solely charged for Alexander’s murder and was jointly charged with others for robbing the casino, its workers and patrons.
The robbery charges with the other accused persons were severed to allow Contrera to face one trial for all the offences arising out of the incident.
Both John and Thomas refused to testify during the trial and prosecutors were allowed to tender the statements given to police, shortly after the incident into evidence.
Contrera testified in his defence and denied any wrongdoing as he claimed that he was shopping in Trincity and Port-of-Spain at the time of the robbery and murder.
He also alleged that he was framed after witnessing a police officer murdering a man in a separate incident.
Presenting her closing addressing on Contrera’s behalf, his lawyer Whitney Franklin called upon Justice Ramsumair-Hinds to focus on her client’s alibi.
Responding to Franklin, prosecutor Anju Bhola suggested that Contrera was attempting to use “parlour tricks” to distract from the evidence against him.