Taxi driver acquitted of school teacher Kescia Branche’s murder

Matthew Munroe, the taxi driver who has been accused of the brutal murder of 22-year-old secondary school teacher Kescia Branche in 2017, has pleaded not guilty to the charge before Demerara High Court Judge Justice Sandil Kissoon.

Murder accused: Matthew Munroe , Murdered: Kescia Branche

The 52-year-old accused, a resident of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD), is being represented by attorneys Dexter Todd, Dexter Smartt, Jevon Cox and Shercola Exeter, while the State is being represented by attorneys Abigail Gibb, Taneisha Sagon and Mohammed Ali.
The State is expected to produce 35 witnesses during the trial. However, during the first day of trial, the prosecution told the court there was no direct evidence linking the man to the crime and the prosecution’s main witness could not be located.

As such, Justice Kissoon instructed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.
Last year, the jury was empanelled for the case to be tried before Justice Kissoon, but because of time constraints, the jury was discharged and Munroe was further remanded to prison.
Branche, who had been a teacher at the Richard Ishmael Secondary School, had been found unconscious at the corner of Louisa Row and Princes Street, Georgetown, on November 5, 2017, and had died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on November 7, 2017. Her cause of death has been given as haemorrhage and blunt trauma to the head.
Munroe was arrested sometime after, and was charged with the offence of murder. And after a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) which ended on October 16, 2018, Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman had ruled that sufficient evidence was led by the prosecution against Munroe for him to stand trial in the High Court for the capital offence.
Munroe had allegedly departed Guyana for the United States of America at some time in November 2017, but after spending some time overseas, had returned to Guyana and presented himself to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters at Eve Leary, Georgetown.
The Police have said that, during interrogation, Munroe could not provide information on his whereabouts on the night that the school teacher was killed, as well as a reason for his car bumper being missing.
Branche had been a mother of one and resident of Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown.
According to reports, the young mother had left home for a night of partying. Her son was left in the care of a friend, who revealed that Branche had told her she had intended to go to a city nightclub to meet a male friend.
Branche had later returned home, but had subsequently left again. She had told her friend that she would be home by 02:00h, but had never returned. She had last been seen leaving a nightclub on Lamaha Street in the company of two Police ranks.
The father of Branche’s child was also arrested after the teacher’s mobile phone was found in his possession. He and four Policemen had been questioned about her death, but they were later released from custody.