Marlon King

Lawyers representing the man accused of murdering four-year-old Amy Emily Annamunthodo have again requested that preparations for his retrial be put on hold pending his appeal to the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.

King’s lawyer Peter Carter repeated the call as he appeared virtually before Justice Hayden St Clair-Douglas for a case management conference in the case, yesterday morning.

King, who is currently remanded at the Port-of-Spain State Prison, was not present for the hearing as prison officers revealed that he tested positive for Covid-19 and was in quarantine.

Carter explained that the application for leave to pursue the final appeal in the case was filed on October 22 and he promised to provide a copy to the court and prosecutors.

Carter called on Justice St Clair-Douglas to reconsider his repeated position to not stop preparations for the retrial pending the appeal without a stay from the Court of Appeal or the Privy Council.

He suggested that it would not be practicable to make preparations for a retrial, which may not be required if the Privy Council eventually upholds the appeal.

Carter also questioned whether the Appeal Court had the jurisdiction to order that the retrial takes place expeditiously.

Justice St Clair-Douglas did not immediately address Carter’s request and adjourned the case to December 1, when King is expected to be released from quarantine and can give his attorneys further instructions including the mode of trial, that is, whether he wants to be tried by a judge and jury or judge-alone.

King is accused of murdering Annamunthodo at his Ste Madeleine Road, Marabella home, on May 15, 2006.

Medical reports showed that Annamunthodo was burnt with cigarettes on her vagina, inner thigh, and forearm an hour before she died. She also suffered multiple internal and external injuries throughout her body, including a broken rib and bruised organs.

In a decision in late July, Appellate Judges Alice Yorke-Soo Hon, Mark Mohammed, and Malcolm Holdip ruled that former President and High Court Judge Anthony Carmona made several errors when he presided over King’s trial in 2012.

The appeal panel ruled that in summing up the case to the jury, that eventually convicted King, Carmona misdirected them on the evidence of King’s ex-wife Lou-Ann Davis, who testified over domestic abuse she allegedly endured, and of his neighbour Anthony Rocke, who testified that he saw King punching the child 20 to 30 times while she hung from a cloth tied to her hair and attached to a door ledge.

During the trial, King claimed that he had left the child with her mother and Rocke and suggested that he (Rocke) was in fact the culprit.

In their decision, the appeal panel rejected submissions from King’s attorneys that he should be acquitted of the charge based on the inordinate length of time between the offence and an eventual retrial.

While the panel accepted that the pace of the criminal justice system was “far from ideal”, it noted that such delays were not sufficient to trump the public’s interest in having King’s innocence or guilt determined in a fresh trial.

“In our view, the balance has been tipped in favour of the ordering of a retrial. We are satisfied that the interests of justice will be served by so ordering,” Justice Mohammed, who delivered the panel’s unanimous decision, said.

King is also being represented by Mario Merritt and Karunaa Bisramsingh.