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Cabbie found guilty of Trinidad teacher's murder

BY MARK CUMMINGS AND ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writers

Friday, May 23, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Forty-eight-year-old Ivan Taylor, the Westmoreland-based taxi-operator who was on trial for the murder of Trinidadian schoolteacher Michelle Coudray-Greaves, was yesterday found guilty in the St James Home Circuit Court.

The 12-member jury, comprising eight women and four men, started deliberations at about 12:30 pm and returned the verdict just over three hours later.

The dreadlocked Taylor will be sentenced in the Home Circuit Court on July 23.

Coudray-Greaves went missing on June 2, 2012, two days after arriving in the island. Nine days later her charred remains were discovered in a cane field in the Montego Bay area.

A post-mortem concluded that she died as a result of blows to the head, inflicted by a blunt instrument.

In court yesterday, Taylor -- dressed in a green T-shirt, blue jeans pants, dark brown slippers, with hair neatly tied with a bright yellow string -- appeared emotionless when the verdict was handed down.

However, he hung his head as he was being led away from the courtroom in handcuffs by the police.

Following the verdict, Taylor's attorney Lavern Walters told reporters that she has not been instructed by her client to appeal the verdict.

"We have not been instructed by Mr Taylor, and that's really his decision," Walter's said, emphasising that "attorneys are creatures of instructions".

She argued that the defence team, which included lead attorney Trevor HoLyn, acted in the best interest of their client during the trial.

"We always act in the best interest of our clients, and in this case we did; but unfortunately a jury of his peers found him guilty and we have to abide by that. It is obvious that, to them, the Crown satisfied everything," said Walters.

She added, however, that her team has requested a social enquiry report.

"The report was ordered to give an insight of the accused's mind and to make sure that nothing was wrong with it...," she pointed out.

Last night, Coudray-Greaves' mother, Marlene Coudray, told the Jamaica Observer by telephone from Trinidad that she was very pleased with the outcome of the trial.

"The case was difficult, but I had every confidence, based on the professionalism of the police officers in Jamaica from the start; even the jury. It really took a lot to find him (Taylor) guilty, so I am happy that justice has prevailed," said Coudray, who is the minister of local government in Trinidad.

"I am really grateful for everything that has been done for the trial. It has been really a trying period since the death of my daughter," she added, noting that she is hoping to be in Jamaica for Taylor's sentencing.

Trinidad's High Commissioner to Jamaica Dr Iva Cloudon and a few of Coudray's family members were present in court yesterday when the verdict was handed down.

During the trial, which lasted for about three weeks, the jury was presented with reports from alleged eyewitnesses, DNA evidence, as well as statements from cyber experts.

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