Man accused of murdering victim in his own bedroom

By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net FREEPORT - The murder trial of Samiko Rigby opened in the Supreme Court on Tuesday before a jury of six women and six men. Rigby, 24, is accused of the murder of 32-year-old Erison Tanelus on January 7, 2009 at Hepburn Town, Eight Mile Rock. He is also accused of armed robbery and burglary. Tanelus and his wife were at home asleep when three men, masked and armed, entered their apartment during the early morning hours of January 7. Tanelus was found shot to death in an upstairs bedroom. Senior Justice Hartman Longley is presiding over the matter. Erica Kemp of the Attorney General's Office is prosecuting on behalf of the Crown, and Carlson Shurland is representing Rigby. Constable Deniqua Johnson was one of the officers on duty on the date in question when she received certain information and proceeded to Sam Rolle's Apartment in Hepburn Town. When she arrived at Apartment Five around 2.45am, she heard a woman screaming inside. Officer Johnson said she went to an upstairs bedroom, where she saw a black male lying face up on the ground with a wound to the head. She said the bedroom was ransacked. She said she took the pregnant woman, who was screaming, downstairs and questioned her. Police Sergeant Lafayette Dorsett said on arrival at the scene he saw a bullet casing on the ground at the front door of Apartment Five. He also noticed that the first and second floors were ransacked. Sgt Dorsette said the victim, whom he later learned was Erison Tanelus, was lying on the floor, bleeding from the head. He added that EMS personnel were attending to the victim, who was dressed in a red T-shirt and red plaid boxers. Sgt Dorsett saw the victim's wife, Frantzcia Tanelus, sitting outside the building. He said she was in shock and was also being treated by EMS personnel. The officer spoke with Elliot Gibson, the tenant of Apartment Four. He took a written statement from Gibson, which was later handed over to the lead investigator. Samuel Rolle, the apartment owner, said Erison Tanelus and his wife had resided at his duplex apartment since 2005. Two days before the murder, Rolle said he went to the couple's apartment and saw that their bedroom door upstairs had been smashed in. He said he had a carpenter repair the door on January 6. After Tanelus' murder, Rolle said the same bedroom door had been damaged. Pathologist Dr Ana Tancawan, Pathologist at the Rand Memorial Hospital, said the autopsy of Erison Tanelus was performed by her former colleague, Dr Kacharli, on January 9, 2009. She said the report indicated that Tanelus had sustained a gunshot wound to the head which caused traumatic skull and brain damage. "There were multiple fractures of the skull and massive traumatic cerebral brain injury," Dr Tancawan told the court. She said the report indicated that Tanelus had sustained a gaping entrance wound above the left eyebrow. Dr Tancawan said the victim's wife had officially identified the body at the morgue on January 8. Police officer 2984 Ernie Barr arrested Rigby for Tanelus' murder on January 8, at Jones Town, Eight Mile Rock. Rigby was searched and found in possession of a black Nokia cellular phone. The trial resumes on Wednesday.


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