GT man begins 2nd trial in mutiple stabbing case

| 16/07/2013

CNS): A 21-year-old man from George Town appeared in Grand Court Monday on trial for the attempted murder of Andrew Lopez in August last year. Justin Ramoon faces trial for the second time after the first court hearing in the matter was cut short and adjourned in January as a result of legal arguments made by his attorney, Ben Tonner. Ramoon now sits before a new panel of jurors, which is made up of five women and two men. They will either convict or acquit him of the charges, which include an alternative count of wounding with intent. Ramoon is alleged to have stabbed Andrew Lopez about eight times outside of Archie's Bar on Shedden Road, George Town, before running off in the direction of Sea Inn Bar. He has denied the allegations and awaits the jurors' verdict expected later this week.

In his evidence about the night he was stabbed, Lopez told the court that he had two beers before arriving at Archie's Bar on the night of his attack and was standing beside his car near a few men who were playing a game of dominoes under a well-lit tent.

It is his evidence that, after receiving a cigarette from a friend, he felt the first stab in his back before he turned around to try and face his attacker. Lopez said that the stabbing continued even after he'd tripped and slightly fallen. It was at this point that he was able to identify his assailant as a man he has known for almost seven years called 'Pot', which is Ramoon's nick-name.

Lopez explained that he did not try to defend himself other than trying to get away, but he was able to see the defendant flee on foot. Lopez said that he then got into his car and his initial reaction was to go to his brother's house before he returned home, where he failed to stop the excessive bleeding coming from the multiple stab wounds that he had received.

He then went to the hospital and arrived a short time after midnight on 25 August, where he was treated for a collapsed lung and multiple puncture wounds.

Police reported that Lopez was carrying on in an intoxicated manner despite his claims that he was purely acting out in rage and anger over the events of the night.

The victim said he believed the incident stemmed from an altercation that happened a week before at a well- known after-session spot known as Jah-T's in central George Town. He told the court it was over a scooter which Lopez took from Ramoon's cousin's in Prospect because he believed that it had been stolen and would attract the police to his neighbourhood.

He claimed that Ramoon had approached him while holding onto his waist as if to gesture he had a gun while questioning him about the scooter before Lopez stepped to him and responded, "If you take that out, you better use it." Ramoon's cousin spoke to a friend of the victim stating that he should leave before they kill him.

Lopez began to get emotional after explaining that he did not think that the incident would have transpired into something so serious and had avoided reporting anything to the police until the night of the stabbing. Flustered, Lopez said, "I don't want this to ruin my life," as he explained that he was not intending to seek revenge but wanted the matter to be disposed of as soon as possible.

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