Trinidad & Tobago Casino Murder: Judge Rules Defendant Not Guilty

Posted on: September 27, 2021, 10:05h. 

Last updated on: September 28, 2021, 12:38h.

A local man accused of murdering a Trinidad and Tobago casino security guard during a robbery was found not guilty on Monday, according to local news reports. He was set free over a decade after the 2010 Caribbean island crime.

Contrera denied any wrongdoing
Scenic Trinidad and Tobago, pictured above. The Caribbean island was the site of a recent casino murder trial. The defendant was found not guilty. (Image: Loop Jamaica)

High Court Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds made her ruling Monday, noting inconsistencies in testimony. She told Anthony “Bussa” Contrera, 37, who is from the town of Tunapuna, he was a free man.

Ramsumair-Hinds warned him to be law-abiding, the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reported.

There is only one person who can ensure that that takes place. For your sake and the sake of the rest of the society, good luck,” the judge told Contrera, according to the news report.

During the several-week trial, which kicked off in August, prosecutors tried to prove Contrera killed Qiydaar Alexander at Jackpot Casino and Members Club in the town of Curepe. They claimed he and others pretended to be customers. Contrera then allegedly wounded Alexander in the head. Casino workers and players were then robbed, prosecutors said.

After being shot, Alexander fell to the ground, lost consciousness, and bled heavily from the wounds, according to court testimony. He died later from his wounds. A firearm was also stolen from the crime scene, according to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, another local news organization. Also, stolen was $151,000 (about US $22,137) in cash and the casino’s surveillance camera system.

Days later, Contrera was arrested and local police searched his residence.

Contrera Denied Charges

But Contrera said he was shopping elsewhere on the island when the robbery and murder took place. Two reported witnesses failed to appear in court to testify. During the trial, Contrera also denied any wrongdoing.

When announcing her verdict, the judge noted disputes on what the murderer was wearing. She noted a witness claimed the victim was shot at close range. But a pathologist said the shooter was between two to three meters from the victim when shots were fired, according to the Guardian.

The evidence, testimony, and arguments presented during the trial were heard by the judge. Contrera opted to have a judge-only trial.

Recent Casino Murder

In another recent Trinidad and Tobago crime, casino owner Lucius John, 35, was at his LA’s Amusement Club when he was fatally shot by robbers last December.

He died at the crime scene. John had opened the gaming property just two weeks before he was murdered. It appears that no suspects had been arrested in the case as of earlier this year.