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‘Redo’ found guilty of murdering Sugar Aloes’ son

Published: 
Friday, June 1, 2018
After 12 years awaiting trial:

Almost 12 years after Imo Osuna, the son of veteran calypsonian Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osuna, was murdered, his family is still mourning his death.

Even as 31-year-old Arnold “Redo” Isaac was convicted of the crime on Tuesday, the Osuna family is still questioning whether they would receive justice for his brutal murder.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian in a brief telephone interview yesterday, the elder Osuna questioned whether the death sentence passed on Isaac would ever be carried out.

“The only thing about it is they not hanging anybody here. He will stay in prison for people to mind him. It does not matter because he will stay there and my tax money will have to mind him still and is my child he kill,” Osuna said.

The last time a convicted murderer was hanged was in 1999. While the mandatory death sentence for murder has been handed down frequently since then, in almost all instances the sentences had to eventually be commuted to life imprisonment, due to the time limit for executions, set in the famous Jamaican case of Pratt and Morgan, and delays in the appeal process.

Asked how his son’s three children, who were young at the time, coped with their father’s death, Osuna said they still rued his absence from their lives.

“They hanging in there. Although they were young they were aware of the input of it in their lives,” Osuna said as he admitted that he, their grandmother and other relatives were forced to step in to fill the void.

It took a 12-member jury before Justice Norton Jack in the Port-of-Spain High Court almost four hours to return with a unanimous guilty verdict for Isaac at the end of his retrial, on Tuesday.

His first trial in January 2015 ended in a hung jury as jurors could not arrive at a unanimous verdict at the time.

According to the evidence in the case, 26-year-old Osuna was attending a christening near his home at Pioneer Drive, Sea Lots, when he was ambushed by a group of gunmen, who shot him several times.

The attack was allegedly in retaliation for an incident, days earlier, in which Osuna remonstrated with a group of men, for robbing a patron at his (Osuna) charity event.

Isaac has spent most of his adult life on remand for the crime as he was arrested and charged when he was 19.

During his first trial, several discrepancies with the evidence against Isaac were raised. The lead investigator had admitted that several pieces of evidence collected at the crime scene had gone missing after the Homicide Bureau’s Port-of-Spain office moved three times. He also admitted to receiving varying descriptions of Osuna’s attackers and that the State’s two main witnesses only decided to testify a year after the murder.

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