Taxi driver freed of teacher’s murder after State fails to locate key witnesses

DUE to the State’s failure to locate key witnesses in the trial into the murder of young teacher, Kescia Branche, her alleged killer, Matthew Monroe, was, on Tuesday, freed by Justice Sandil Kissoon.

The trial commenced on Tuesday morning at the Demerara High Court before a 12-member jury after the 51-year-old man pleaded not guilty to murdering the woman on November 7, 2017, at Georgetown.

The State was represented by prosecutors Abigail Gibb, Taneisha Sagon, and Mohammed Ali, while Dexter Todd, Dexter Smartt, Jevon Cox and Shercola Exeter were the attorneys on record for Munroe.

The prosecutors led the evidence of three witnesses before the case was adjourned for lunch. However, when the court resumed for the afternoon session, the State indicated that certain key witnesses could not be located and requested an adjournment.

Justice Kissoon then indicated that owing to the absent witnesses, he did not believe there would be sufficient evidence for the State to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

He then directed the jury to return a formal not guilty verdict for Monroe.

Branche, a mother of one, who resided in Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown, was last seen alive on November 4, 2017, when she left for a night out with her friends.

She was found in an unconscious state in the vicinity of Princes Street and Louisa Row in the city the following day.

Her left leg was broken and there was evidence that she had sustained multiple head injuries.

The Richard Ishmael Secondary School teacher died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) two days later.

A post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a result of brain haemorrhage.

During the investigation, three suspects who were being questioned, were released. At the time of the trio’s release, the police were seeking to contact the taxi driver whose cell phone number appeared repeatedly on Branche’s mobile device.

The taxi driver’s car was impounded at the Brickdam Police Station, subsequent to his reported departure from the country, after Branche was found in an unconscious state.

Investigators were of the opinion that the driver might have been the last person to see the teacher alive.


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