‘I am devastated, I am hurt’ – Family outraged after Kescia Branche’s alleged murderer walks free
Four years after she was brutally murdered, Kescia Branche’s family was waiting patiently for justice to be served but on Tuesday, the murder accused, Matthew Munroe was freed after the prosecution informed the Georgetown High Court that they are unable to locate key witnesses linking the accused to the brutal crime.
An angry and upset Sonita Scott, Branche’s mother, spoke with the News Room via telephone from The Bahamas on Tuesday; the woman expressed her hurt at the Judge’s decision.
“I am devastated over this situation, I feel the Guyana Police Force trash the matter. They hurt me, they hurt her little son,” an upset Scott related.
Munroe was freed three hours after his trial commenced on Tuesday for the 2017 brutal murder of Branche who was a 22-year-old Secondary school teacher at the Richard Ishmael Secondary School at the time.
Earlier on Tuesday, 52-year-old Munroe, formerly of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara was arraigned before Justice Sandil Kissoon for the capital offence of murder.
He pleaded not guilty to the indictment and his trial commenced before a jury with the testimony of three witnesses. However, during the afternoon session, the prosecutors indicated to the court that they were having problems locating key witnesses.
However, Scott believes foul play was afoot and claimed that the witnesses were at the court but were not allowed to testify.
“They had all the evidence in the Magistrates’ Court; I sat there and listened to the trials one after the other, and there was sufficient evidence to carry it to the High Court.
“Some of them [the witnesses] were waiting [at the High Court] and wasn’t given a chance to say anything, nobody made contact with them, they sat there all day waiting because they were summoned to the court,” Scott related.
Munroe was represented by attorneys Dexter Todd, Dexter Smartt, Jevon Cox and Shercola Exeter while the state was represented by prosecutors Abigail Gibb, Taneisha Sagon and Mohammed Ali.
“Somebody duped the case,” Scott said.
The distraught mother is calling on those in authority to investigate the events that led to the alleged murderer walking free.
“I am calling on the Government of Guyana to do something about this, I will go to the lengths and breath to get justice,” the woman said.
A TRAUMATISING JOURNEY
For the family, it has been a traumatising journey since Branche’s murder.
“I did not sleep or eat for weeks, I was waking up out of my sleep hollering; we have been given no justice,” the mother said. Scott told the News Room that Kescia was the eldest of three girls, noting that she [Scott] raised them by herself.
Scott has been living in The Bahamas for several years and after years of trying, in February, this year, she managed to get Branche’s now 7-year-old-son to live with her. According to Scott, the young boy remains traumatised since his mother died.
“When Mother’s Day come around, he was crying, because he said everybody got mother and making Mother’s Day card in school and he can’t because he doesn’t have a mother,” Scott tearfully recalled.
Munroe was reportedly the last person who Branche had telephone contact with. The News Room had reported that the man fled the country the morning after Branche was found unconscious.
An autopsy on the young woman found that she died as a result of blunt trauma to the head and haemorrhage. The injuries were consistent with her either jumping or being pushed from a moving vehicle.
“My daughter was patriotic she didn’t want to leave her country and come to The Bahamas with me and teach here, she wanted to remain there, she got her death serving Guyana.”
Branche was last seen on November 4, 2017, partying with friends at the Seeta’s Bar in Station Street, Kitty.
She subsequently left and went over to the Blue Martini Night Club where she was seen hanging out with a male.
Surveillance footage also captured when the young woman left the Blue Martini Night Club in the company of two uniformed police ranks.
One of the ranks later told investigators that the young teacher was placed in a taxi on Sheriff Street to head home.