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(SNO) — A Saint Lucian man has been charged in connection with the shooting deaths of a Trinidadian and a Venezuelan last year, according to law enforcement sources.
Fernel Sexius, also known as ‘Cookie’, was charged on Thursday afternoon with the murder of Vincente Jose Mendoza Pacheco, 26, of Venezuela and Richie S. Ramdass, 24, of Trinidad and Tobago, who were gunned down on Sunday, December, 31, 2017 on the St. Jude Highway in Vieux-Fort.
Police sources had theorised that it was drug deal gone wrong.
Sexius, who was already on remand for other offences, including attempted murder, was nabbed by the police in August shortly after officers on patrol stopped a minibus in which he was a passenger.
The wanted man reportedly tried to escape from the lawmen but he was shot and caught in bushes in the vicinity of the Aupicon Junction in Vieux Fort. A firearm was allegedly recovered from the scene.
Following the Old Year’s double murder, two St. Lucians, who were held in police custody to assist investigations into the murder of the two foreign nationals, were released on Jan. 8, 2018 without being charged, according to law enforcement sources at the time.
One of the local men, according to residents, was very close to the deceased men.
Pacheco, who succumbed to his injuries at the hospital, was found in a rented Honda CRV, registration #PK437, with gunshot wounds about his body. Ramdass’s body, which also bore several gunshot wounds, was discovered a few metres away from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident occurred close to the house which the victims rented, located on the St. Jude Highway, in the vicinity of its intersection with Cantonement.
According to law enforcement sources, an undisclosed sum of Euros and a firearm were found in the vehicle which had just come out a driveway when the deadly attack occurred.
At the time the Pacheco and Ramdass were killed, their deaths were the 59th and 60th homicides of 2017. That was the highest homicide figure in Saint Lucian history.