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Jul 28, 2009

Family believes youth was murdered

Story PictureThe family of sixteen year old Kevin Francis is making strong allegations against the police department in the death of the St Michael’s College student. Francis’ body was discovered behind the BTIA building near the Memorial Park on Monday morning and initially the reason for death was undetermined in the death certificate. He was reportedly hanging from a building with a cord tied around his neck. But today his uncle, Elton Jex, told News Five that the family believes that Francis was murdered. That’s their theory, and it departs from their previous stance that Francis died in retaliation of a shooting involving his cousin. As we said that’s the family’s allegations, they are strong, and they are putting the police squarely in the middle. The family says that an unnamed person has given them information that Francis was shot somewhere on East Collet Canal and that the gunman, allegedly a police officer, picked him up, put him in a vehicle and sped off with him. To add to their story, the family is also questioning the post mortem that the police pathologist, Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted since they claim they observed bruises on the body. But Estradabran told the media today that he strongly feels that Francis died by hanging and said the autopsy was done according to procedures. He added that the bruises on Francis’ body could have been caused by the hanging.

Idolly Francis, Mother of Deceased
“When I notice di body and di way how di body deh, ih noh look like Kevin heng ihself. And di way how Kevin head ova swell. And I usually know how when a person heng dehn self dehn tongue usually drop outta dehn mouth. Kevin neva had none ah dehn signs. Di way how ih hand deh dah like if ih mi di fight, fight yoh understand and ih hand black and blue. Kevin ear mi di run blood and dat noh right fi somebody weh heng dehn self fi dehn ears di run blood. I noh think so. Den ih had wah mark cross yah soh by ih face yah so, yoh understand and ih fingernail dehn full up wid dirt. So how come somebody wah heng dehn self and have all dehn signs? And dah pan wah small lee black wire like dat; phone wire like dat dehn seh ih heng ihself. I think if dat dah mi wah phone wire dat mi wah actually come out ah di wall wid all dah dead weight and if somebody dead dehn hand mi wah deh down to dehn side. Why Kevin mi deh inna dah position how Kevin deh? Something noh right mammy.”

Elton Jex, Uncle of Deceased
“Less than five minutes the post mortem has finished and all what they had done in front of my face in my witness, dah jus turn di body on the side and Mr. Estradabran look by his back, look by his head, he seh no stab wound, no gunshot wound. And from I said yesterday I see bruises all over the young man, ih back and belly and so.”

Dr. Mario Estradabran, Police Pathologist
“I did an external examination on the body and then I see the telephone card around the neck, totally tight and strongly tie up. The body revealed an advanced state of decomposition and signs of hanging so he died by hanging.”

Marion Ali
“The family has complained that you only took a few minutes to conduct the post-mortem and they are not pleased with the way you conducted the post-mortem.”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“Normally, a body is totally decomposed and we do not suspect any foul play and there is no facilities to do decomposed bodies; post-mortem examinations on decomposed bodies so we use the forensic criteria and also we use the police preliminary investigations to come out with a final opinion that yes, he died by hanging.”

Marion Ali
“But they are saying quite the contrary doctor, they do suspect foul play that was involved.”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“Well, the family could say that but we did not observe any signs of foul play, meaning external visible injuries beside the ligature mark as a consequence of the telephone wire. Foul play in a forensic investigation or a police investigation meaning injuries like stabbings, like contortions, like machete wounds, like fractures or other things and we did not observe any.”

Marion Ali
“So they say that they saw bruises and they saw a mark over his eye and they saw blood coming from his ears and one of his feet. How do you explain that?”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“That is as a consequence of decomposition but they are not related to injuries. They are basically related to the pressure of the neck being applied and then the fluids start to come out after a certain period of time due to the organs start to decompose and fluids start to come out. The colour start to change in skin.”

Elton Jex
“Today we get some very vital information from one of the family member. The persons who saw, alleged the police shoot my nephew—this is vital information now—there is a person who saw the police shoot my nephew on the canal side, move him from there. The person saw when the police shot him and they move him from the canal side and bring him to somewhere. I guess this is the location where they bring him and this person who see the police did this tell my nephew cousin about this information. He basically—this is a man, he don’t want to reveal his name—but it is very serious and if it is so, I want to appeal to the police department, come forward and do a proper investigation. We going to do our own personal investigation, Marion, because this is serious. We know from the beginning that our nephew never hang himself. We were saying that from the get start but now to learn this new information now—I know it is a very serious allegation—we are trying our best. I call unnu in because we are very disappointed the way how fi we nephew gone and how the post mortem went.”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“Immediately after they go into a suspension they go into fits, into like an epileptic attack so they start to have fits or convulsions and if the body is close to a wall or close to a cement area, close to a tree or close to an object the movements of the body you might find small abrasions or small contortions on the body. But that does not reveal that it was a homicide hanging.”

The Francis family can be contacted through Munoz Alley near the Red Cross Headquarters by anyone who has further on Francis’ death. We called the Police Press Officer to get a reaction today but we were told the police will respond after they hear the family’s allegations.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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