Teenager guilty of murdering family friend at memorial gathering for dead toddler
An 18-year-old man has been found guilty of killing a family friend at a party held to mark the anniversary of the death of a toddler in a road accident.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Trene Colecozy-Rogers (pictured) killed Dre Estridge, 26, at a house in Oakham Street in Toxteth on 25 June 2020.
Dijiuna Garrett and her family who live at the house were holding the annual memorial gathering to mark the death of her two-year-old son O’Shea in 1997.
The party had been going since around 4pm and continued until the early hours of the next morning.
A close family friend, Marita Colecozy was there with her daughter Rene but her mood changed as she drank more during the evening.
She attacked one young man who refused to dance with her and fell to the floor, injuring herself. She became generally abusive and members of the family eventually called her son Trene to come and take her home.
Dre Estridge, Ms Garrett’s son, was in his brother Denzil’s room when Trene arrived and the two started arguing. Witnesses heard Trene say to Dre: “Lad, I’ll poke you with it” and Dre replied: “If you’re gonna poke me with it, poke me with it.”
The two families had grown up together and witnesses did not immediately appreciate the significance of the fall-out.
However, after a few minutes, Dre’s sister Demmere saw Trene coming quickly down the stairs and out of the front door. Dre was discovered lying on the floor of the bedroom with a gaping stab wound.
A knife, which had been in the bedroom and had been used by Ms Garrett for some decorating in the days leading up to the party, had been used to pierce Dre’s chest and the aorta, the main artery which carries blood from the heart.
The severing of that artery caused massive internal bleeding and death was rapid and inevitable.
Paramedics arrived on the scene, but tragically nothing could be done to save the life of Dre Estridge. Trene had run from the scene, later tried to dispose of his clothes, cleaned and dumped the knife and did not hand himself into police until three days later.
Today (8 December 2020) a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of murder with a majority verdict of 11 to 1.
Senior Crown Prosecutor, Adrian Evans of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: “Trene admitted that he had stabbed Dre Estridge but denied that he had meant to kill him.
“But the Crown Prosecution Service refused to accept that. We asked the jury to consider the question, if Trene hadn’t intended to cause Dre serious harm when he plunged the knife into his chest, what had he intended? The jury have agreed with us and found him guilty of murder.
“It is a dreadful waste of two young lives. Dre Estridge is dead and Trene is facing a long jail term. The fact that this all happened at an event to mark the death of a very young child makes the whole incident even more tragic and distressing for the victim’s family.
“Knives can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and their communities. Our thoughts remain with the family of Dre Estridge at this very difficult time.”