Taxi driver freed of Kescia Branche’s murder as Prosecution unable to locate key witnesses


Three hours after his trial commenced for the 2017 brutal murder of 22-year-old Secondary school teacher Kescia Branche, Matthew Munroe was freed after the prosecution could not locate key witnesses in the case.

Branche, who was a teacher at the Richard Ishmael Secondary School, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on November 7, 2017. She was found unconscious at the corner of Louisa Row and Princes Street, Georgetown on November 5, 2017.

Earlier on Tuesday, Munroe, 52, formerly of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD) was arraigned before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Georgetown High Court 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.

Justice Kissoon indicated that since the prosecution could not find key witnesses in the case to testify, then there would not be sufficient evidence to prove the elements of the offence.

As such, he then directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty against Munroe.

Munroe is represented by attorneys Dexter Todd, Dexter Smartt, Jevon Cox and Shercola Exeter. The State is being represented by prosecutors Abigail Gibb, Taneisha Sagon and Mohammed Ali.

Last year, the case was empanelled before Justice Kissoon for trial, however, due to time constraints, the jury was discharged and Munroe was further remanded to prison.

Police had impounded Munroe’s car at the Brickdam Police Station. He 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.

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