PORT OF SPAIN – A 21-year-old woman of Manzanilla was forced to miss her newborn baby’s funeral yesterday afternoon as she was remanded after appearing in court for unlawfully killing the child. Alicia Acevero, of John Humphrey Road, James Smart Village, Manzanilla, appeared before Magistrate Ray Roopchand in the Sangre Grande First Court yesterday afternoon charged
Less than two hours later, a funeral service for her baby Nishan was held at Allen’s Funeral Home, Sangre Grande. He was later laid to rest at the Foster Road Public Cemetery. Acevero is accused of unlawfully killing her four-day-old baby near her home last week Friday. Her lawyer Fareed Ali said the court should consider bail for his client because she had had a clean criminal record and was from a stable family background.
Both of Acevero’s parents were in court for the hearing.
He said his client was denied her constitutional rights while in police custody, as she was arrested on Saturday and was only allowed to speak to a lawyer on Monday evening. Court prosecutors said Roopchand Acevero had been referred for a psychiatric evaluation when she was medically examined after her arrest. They said she should be denied bail until she underwent the test and the results were presented to the court.
Ali opposed the suggestion while stating the Mental Health Act allowed people to have an evaluation both privately and at the order of a court. He said if his client was granted bail, she would be willing to submit to the evaluation and if she failed to do so, she could be rearrested.
Magistrate Roopchand rejected the application, remanded Acevero, and ordered she undergo psychiatric evaluation at the St. Ann’s Hospital while on remand. She will reappear in court on October 23. (Trinidad Guardian)