Tishara Daniel, the Dominican man, who the police have charged for the murder of United States (US) citizen Nina Elizabeth Nilssen, has been remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP.)
Daniel, dressed in a pair of white Nike sneakers, a white ¾ cut striped pants with black, blue and yellow stripes held up by a purple coloured cloth like belt and a black shirt with blue and orange stripes, made his first appearance in the All Saints Magistrates’ Court yesterday before Senior Magistrate Asquith Riviere.
The indictable charge was read to him, but he was informed that he did not have to enter a plea at this stage, as the matter is tryable in the High Court before a judge and jury. While Senior Magistrate Riviere is unable to grant the 24-year-old man bail, he can make application in the High Court.
As Daniel stood in the accused box, he kept fidgeting-putting his hand in his face.
Nilssen’s body was found on an isolated bushy trail in the Winward Bay, Pigeon Point beach area about 5 p.m., on 19 Jan. Several of Daniel’s family members were present in the courtroom for the proceedings.
Reports are that Nilssen along with members of her family arrived in Antigua on a yacht that same day to celebrate her sister’s marriage.
Further reports are that it was another visitor who stumbled upon the US citizen’s body, which was on its back with a stab wound to the neck. It is being further alleged that the body appeared to be only half-dressed at the time and that a purse containing some of her personal belongings was found on the scene. The police at about 1 p.m., on that day had conducted foot patrol in the secluded area.
An autopsy revealed that the US citizen died as a result of haemorrhaging due to the stab wound.
Daniel, of Swetes, was reportedly picked up by the police last Friday in the Dockyard area and charged Saturday evening. According to reports, there is no information to suggest that he was being harboured by anyone.
The police issued a description of the Dominican man as having a gold tooth and an afro hairstyle. Daniel, yesterday, had his hair braided in single plaits and a long beard.
At a press conference held at the Police Headquarters on Sunday, it was revealed that the lawmen have in their custody what is believed to be the weapon used to commit the murder. However, forensic testing will be done to verify that it is the “murder” weapon.
A motive for the murder has not been established and the police have said that there is no evidence of a robbery. It was, however, revealed that a camera that was allegedly taken from the visitor was retrieved and is now in the custody of the police.
While the police are thanking members of the public for their assistance in helping to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice, family members of the deceased have already conveyed their gratitude to the police for their quick response in solving this crime.
Police Commissioner Thomas Bennett, at the press conference, gave assurances that Antigua and Barbuda is still a safe place to come for vacation as very few crimes are committed against tourists.
“… (we have) a very safe and secure environment…” he said.
The 30-year-old woman of San Francisco, California is the country’s first homicide victim for 2010.
Daniel, who is being represented by attorney Dane Hamilton Jr., has his committal proceedings set for 26 May.
Click to view image: 'Daniel'
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