Prisoner accused of assassination attempt on Deputy Prison Commissioner died of unnatural causes

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Prisoner accused of assassination attempt on Deputy Prison Commissioner died of unnatural causes

Unnatural causes.

That’s what an autopsy on the body of 22-year-old prisoner Emmanuel Joseph determined.

Joseph, of Santa Cruz was accused of an assassination attempt on Deputy Prison Commissioner Sherwyn Bruce.

The T&T Prison Service said around 10.20 pm last Friday, Joseph complained about chest pains and was taken to the Arima Health Facility, where he was pronounced dead.

However, the post-mortem certificate prepared by consultant forensic pathologist Dr Parthasarathi Pramanik, after performing an autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday afternoon, listed the cause of death as shock and haemorrhage, poly-trauma and blunt force trauma injuries “all over his body”.

Yesterday’s autopsy was observed by former State pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes, who was retained by the family to provide a second opinion.

However, Dr Des Vignes’ participation was only facilitated after attorneys Wayne Sturge, Lemuel Murphy, Alexia Romero, and Siddiq Manzano, who are representing Joseph’s family, obtained an ex-parte injunction against T&T Forensic Science Centre (FSC) acting director Derrick Sankar, stopping him and his officials from blocking the move to have an independent party view the autopsy.

On October 11, Bruce was about to enter an unmarked Toyota Fortuner, driven by prison officer Steve Phipps, outside his Barataria home when two masked, armed men exited a white Toyota Axio and began shooting at them.

Phipps reportedly returned fire with his service pistol but was shot in his torso. Bruce’s 12-year-old daughter sustained a minor wound. Bruce escaped unhurt.

The gunmen returned to their vehicle and drove away.

Joseph, of La Canoa Road, Santa Cruz, was arrested hours later while seeking medical treatment at a health facility.

He spent a little over a week in police custody before he was eventually charged with two counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a firearm to endanger life, and possession of ammunition to endanger life last Wednesday.