Freed taxi driver in Kescia Branche murder files $50.3M lawsuit against the State
Matthew Munroe, the 52-year-old taxi driver who was charged with the 2017 murder of schoolteacher Kescia Branche, has filed a $50.3 million lawsuit against the State.
Munroe’s application was filed by attorney-at-law Dexter Todd and his associates against the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the Attorney General.
On May 24, 2022, three hours after his trial commenced for Branche’s murder, Munroe was freed by Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Georgetown High Court, 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.
In his Statement of Claim ( SOC) Munroe is seeking a declaration that his arrest and detention for a period of four and six months without trial was unreasonable and violated his Constitutional right to personal liberty.
He is also asking the court to find that he is entitled to $50M for loss of liberty, unlawful detention, and delay in reasonable trial while incarcerated for over four years.
Munroe is seeking $100,000 for the wrongful advancement of the charge of the murder against him and another $100,000 for his wrongful detention
Lastly, the freedman is seeking $100,000 for his unlawful detention and the breach of his fundamental right to liberty.
In his ground for the application, the claimant stated that his attorneys wrote to the DPP continuously from October 2018 to July 2021 for his discharge from prison as there was no evidence to secure a conviction against him, that he was innocent and that he was unjustly being detained.
During his time on remand, Munroe had filed two legal actions to the High Court seeking certain Administrative Orders, including declarations that his constitutional rights were being breached by his continued incarceration without being put on trial.
On May 30, Munroe during a press conference following his release, Munroe called for a fresh probe into Branche’s demise so that both he and her family can get much-needed justice and closure.
“It’s not fair for her and it’s not fair for me (because) I was taken away from my family for five years…The re-opening of the case is something I would love to happen,” a tearful Munroe said.