January 12, 2007
Grandad ponders Cheruice’s death

Did we fail, where did we go wrong, and what could we have done differently?

Questions like these are what filled the minds and were uttered from the lips of the family of Cheruice Trotman, the 14-year-old girl who became this country’s first murder victim for 2007.{{more}}

A single gunshot wound to the left side of her head ended her life and closed the door of hope for her 73-year-old grandfather, businessman Carlton Trotman. He had hoped that one day his precious granddaughter, whom he described as “misled and confused” would have turned her life around and fulfilled the potential that was evident in her.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006 was the last time Carlton saw his granddaughter, who lived with him at his Arnos Vale home, alive.

Cheruice who was the mother of a six-week-old baby girl named Kandy, went to town to take her baby to the hospital. Carlton told SEARCHLIGHT that because of her past actions he did not give Cheruice much money but told her to call him when she was finished so that he could bring her home.

“She didn’t call me and followed her company, and I didn’t see her again after that,” Carlton said with a look of resignation on his face.

He explained that she had always been a challenge and had run away from home before. Carlton said that although Cheruice did well when she went to school, her behaviour caused her to be thrown out of the Emmanuel High School and when she was sent to the Adelphi Secondary School, things were the same.

“We tried counselors, pastors, a lot of people spoke to her, we loved her, tried our best, but she just didn’t change,” Carlton said, “All this could have been hers, if she had just behaved,” he added pointing to his house and apartment building, which is called Trottie’s apartments.

He recalled that she had left home and was staying in Georgetown while she was pregnant and the family only knew her condition during her sixth month of pregnancy.

“No matter what she did she had a home here, I never gave up on her,” the distraught man said, as he continued to fight to come to terms with his granddaughter’s demise.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke to Earl Trotman, her uncle who also took care of her, he said that the family was broken hearted that Cheruice’s life had to end in such a violent manner. Earl said that his brother, Joseph, Cheruice’s father who resides in England and her mother Shelly Ann Yearwood who is in the United States are still struggling to come to terms with the news.

Granddad Carlton however is convinced that besides all the love that she got from him and those around, that the young, misguided girl really needed the close care of her parents.

“Sometimes you have to wonder why a child reacts the way they do and I believe that Cheruice was crying out for her parents’ attention, she needed them,” he said.

Despite the countless incidences of disobedience and embarrassment caused, the Trotmans said that Cheruice was pleasant to be around and always lit up a room. They are now focusing on her baby, who they want to raise as their own.

“That baby is all I have of Cheruice now,” said Carlton.

Cheruice died three days after sustaining her injury and police are continuing investigations into the circumstances surrounding her shooting.

Cheruice would have been 15-years-old on June 12.