Lewis murder trial goes into week #6
The trial for murder of Rodman Moses Lewis could end this week, the sixth. Lewis's trial for the murder of his former girlfriend and mother of his son, Triscia Riviere, began on Monday October 5, 2020 before resident judge Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts and a jury of five men and four women at the Roseau High Court.
State Attorney Sherma Dalrymple has prosecuted the case for the State while attorney Anthony Commodore conducted the defense for Lewis.
Investigating Officer Sergeant Chaucer James of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who ended week #4 on the witness stand spent all three working days of week #5 completing his time (two of which was being crossed examined) in the witness box by Friday November 6, 2020.
By the end of the fourth week, James had told the court of his formally charging Lewis with the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
The state has at least one more witness before it closes its case. The deposition of this witness will be followed by Lewis making his defense, and then addresses by the lawyers followed by the summation by Judge Adrien –Roberts.
Tricia Riviere, 26, was killed at her home at Simon Bolivar, Stock Farm on Tuesday evening, November 3, 2015.
During the trial last week, a magistrate's court clerk who was one of the four witnesses stated that she was present when two bundles – physical exhibits and documentary exhibits – including the witness statement of Dr Alexander-Henry, were presented in court in the presence of the accused, Lewis, and his lawyer Anthony Commodore.
Police Constable Anselm Austrie who was attached to the CID then, had assisted Sergeant James in his investigations and had taken notes at different times during the investigation.
Austrie was at the CID on Wednesday November 4, 2015 about 11:20am when Lewis was brought to the CID. Lewis had been arrested on suspicion for the alleged murder of Triscia Riviere at Stock Farm. The accused held private discussions with his attorney before being interviewed by James with Austrie writing the questions and answers.
Lewis said he was 27 years old in 2015, was the father of one child and had worked at the Dominica State Prisons from April 2013. He had an argument with Triscia, the mother of his child, that day and had knocked her out unconscious. He hit Triscia with the heel of his right foot "aiming for the mouth area..." He could not say how many times that he struck her face.
"I reached her home about 4:30pm. All that happened so fast. She swung at me. I feel two or three hits", he told the police.
He added that there were two cylinders in the kitchen.
"I can remember moving one; when she fell her foot kicked it and as it was falling. I picked it up and hit her once to the upper part of her body. She was lying down," he said.
He spoke to one of the neighbours and called his mother. Lewis told the police in that interview that it was the first time he had "raised his hand" on Triscia.
"She is not the person who would stay in an abusive relationship. Panic, shock, I sat on the couch. I didn't know what to do," Lewis said.
He added that he was in a rage when he used the cylinder. To the police, he identified a pair of slippers with blood on one of them. He also identified his T-shirt and jeans pants with blood stains, items he wore at the time of the incident.
That same November 4, 2015 Austrie said he was present when police officers went to the scene of the incident at Stock Farm about 4:55pm.
With Austrie taking notes, Lewis described his arrival where he saw Triscia going inside the house. They started making noise when they got to the fridge in the kitchen. Triscia's friend, Alana John Baptiste, who was the state's first witness, was in her bedroom laying out a fresh sheet. (The SUN, October 13, 2020).
"She put her hand on my chest and swung at me two or three times. I swung a kick at her to her head and she fell down past the cylinder. I hit her with it and I saw blood pitch, and I put it down to go and sit down," Lewis said.