… As accused murderer still flees
Advice is sought from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on how to proceed with the preliminary investigation (DP) into the murder of Better Hope, Demerara East Coast currency exchanger Aaron Latchman and his daughter Silver Latchman, after one of The accused fled on remand for the murder of Lusignan Prison.
The joint charges for the capital offense are: Mark Rufino, 25, a laborer from Parika Facade, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), the fugitive prison escapee; Paul Chan, 37, of “Long Hair” or “Anthony”, bus conductor at Dennis Street, Sophia, Greater Georgetown; Troy Abrams, 44, of “Rasta Man”, seller of Middle Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara (EBD); Lloyd Sadloo, 37, of Mocha Arcadia, EBD; and Sean Thomas, 41, of “Yankee”, an electrician at William Street, Kitty, Georgetown.
Rufino escaped from the Dal Bay at Lusignan Prison between October 20 and October 21, 2020. During a court hearing in late December 2020, a Police prosecutor was given a month’s leave to seek advice on how to proceed.
Magistrate Alisha George, presiding at Sparendaam Magistrates’ Court, had instructed the prosecutor to take advice on the matter by Friday. However, when the matter was called on Friday, the prosecutor asked for another adjournment, and there were serious objections from defense counsel. The lawyers for the other accused murder call for the mutual escape of the accused to be removed, and for the court to proceed with the PI against the other accused.
Magistrate George has adjourned the matter until Monday, February 1, 2021, for the prosecutor to report the legal advice to the court.
According to Police reports, on that fateful day, the father and daughter had just returned to their Lot 58 Robert Street home, Better Hope, East Coast Demerara when they were attacked by armed men. Holding Latchman and his 19-year-old daughter at gunpoint, the alleged thieves took the duo to the upper apartment of Latchman’s house, where they demanded money.
After receiving a bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash, the men shot the duo before escaping the scene in a white Toyota Carina 212 motor car parked a short distance away.
Neighbors reported hearing gun shots and rushing to the victims’ aid. The father and daughter were rushed to Georgetown Public Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Post-mortem examinations carried out on the bodies revealed that the father had been shot three times, while his daughter received one fatal shooting wound.
A motor car owned by the deceased businessman but used by the robbers was found at Front Road, La Penitence, Georgetown. While searching the vehicle, they found an illegal shotgun and several rounds of ammunition.
Two of the accused murderers – Abrams and Sadloo – are characters known to the Police and the courts. Abrams was convicted in 2016 for two counts of theft committed against American Street money changers, Rayburn Fraser and Osaffo Ward. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for that offense.
Sadloo, who is said to be the alleged mastermind of the double murder, had a murder case released against him in 2012, but was later convicted in 2016 for trafficking narcotics. The conviction made another court appearance in 2018, when he was facing several charges of armed robbery. He is currently before the court on charges of unlawful possession of guns and ammunition.