Derek Achong

A 36-year-old watchman has been committed to stand trial for the murder of a man who was beaten to death near his San Juan home in 2017.

Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle made the order after the State closed its case at the end of David Woods’ preliminary inquiry yesterday.

Woods, of Coconut Drive, Valencia, is accused of murdering 47-year-old Sheldon Rampersad, near his Silver Mill Street, San Juan, home, in January 2017.

Although according to the State’s case, Rampersad was beaten to death by Woods and another man, who were armed with a shovel and pick-axe, only Woods was arrested and charged.

His preliminary inquiry was expected to begin before Busby-Earle-Caddle, early this year, but had to be pushed back due to complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Busby-Earle-Caddle eventually facilitated the case by making arrangements for the entire process to be conducted virtually, with Woods participating from special video conferencing facilities at the prison, where he is on remand.

When the case did commence in June, it was delayed several times due to COVID-19 issues including an outbreak in the country’s prisons.

Woods was represented by Danielle Rampersad and Roshan Tota-Maharaj.