Trinidad & Tobago casino murder suspect not guilty

Trinidad & Tobago casino murder suspect not guilty

Published: October 17, 2021

Anthony Bussa Contrera, a 37-year-old local man, has been found not guilty of murdering a casino guard during a robbery. The heist took place in Curepe in 2010, when robbers pretended to be players and fatally shot one security personnel.

The Tunapuna resident was finally released over a decade after the crime he reportedly committed. During the robbery, he allegedly wounded the victim, Qiydaar Alexander, in the head, who then succumbed to injuries.

Contrera was the only person charged with murder, while the whole group was jointly accused of robbery. After the shooting, the gang robbed the employees and patrons of their personal items, stole the camera and about $150,000 in cash.

The defendant was singled out as the sole murderer by another security guard, Arthleen Thomas and the Malaysian manager, Billy John.

They did not testify in court and their initial statements were used for evidence. Contrera faced only one trial for all the offences related to this case. He chose to stand a judge-only trial.

John refused to appear in court after Interpol had contacted him, whereas Thomas didn’t want to put her family in danger. Contrera denied the allegations, claiming he had been shopping at the time the robbery happened.

He pointed out he was nowhere near the casino when the incident took place. He declared Billy John had been brought to the station the day before the identification round-up.

Bearing in mind small inconsistencies in the testimony between Thomas and John about the murderer’s shirt, the prosecutor’s case wasn’t exactly bulletproof.

The shooting distance was also a matter of dispute, with different recollections from Thomas and the official pathologist.

The newest decision puts an end to a decade-long case. There are still many unclear facts about it, with the stolen items and the murder weapon never recovered.

Contrera claimed the police framed him for murder after witnessing an unrelated crime committed by an officer. He had already served a short-term prison sentence before the casino murder occurred.

Now Justice Hinds warned him to respect the law and wished him good luck. He will have an opportunity to reintegrate into society and start a new life free of crime.

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