Debates end in appeal to set aside 81-year prison term – Guyana Times
HomeNewsDebates end in an appeal to set an 81-year prison term
The 2011 murder of Robb St.’s grandmother
The Guyana Court of Appeal on Thursday concluded hearing appeals on appeals from three men seeking their conviction and an 81-year prison sentence overturned following a jury finding they were guilty of the murder of Clementine Fiedtkou-Parris in 2011. the 72-year-old woman was sewn down at her Robb Street home, Georgetown.
The convicted killers are Orwin and Cleon Hinds and Roy Jacobs. Following a case before Justice Navendra Singh in 2015, the men were convicted of the crime. Justice Singh imposed the 81-year prison term on all of them, with parole possible after serving at least 45 years. Despite the verdict, the men have all professed their innocence. According to the charge faced by the men, on June 30, 2011, they assassinated Fiedtkou-Parris under an arrangement where money was intended to be transferred from one person to another. The elderly woman was shot and killed that night at her 42 Robb Street, Georgetown home. Media reports are that two men went to the woman’s home asking for “Aunt”. When the elderly woman came out of her bedroom, one of them pulled out a gun and shot her several times to her upper body. They fled the scene in a waiting motor car, while the elderly woman was rushed to Georgetown Public Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. It is thought that a bitter property dispute could have been a motive for killing them.
Seeking a conviction overturned In submissions, their lawyers have offered arguments on which they seek to overturn the men’s conviction and sentence. Among the grounds under development is that Justice Singh’s trial failed to highlight the deficiencies in the prosecution case, and in particular the numerous contradictions and how they affect the issues in the matter. The lawyers argue that the trial Judge failed to warn the jury to rule out misrepresentation of the evidence, the insanity, and the appeal to emotions made by the prosecutor. Counsel for the murder convicts has also been the subject of receiving detective statements allegedly made by their clients to detectives. “The learned trial judge erred in law in accepting the oral statements and caution attributed to Cleon Hinds in evidence. The burden is on the prosecution to prove that the oral and warning statements were made voluntarily, ”argues Attorney-at-Law Adrian Thompson. Moreover, the men’s lawyers argue that the trial Judge failed to provide the jury with their clients’ defenses adequately for consideration. They also argue that the custodial sentence imposed on their clients is severe, and is not in line with established sentencing guidelines. It is argued that there is no basis in law for the judge to start on a 60-year basis, which is nine years shy of national life expectancy. Attorney-at-law George Thomas represents Orwin Hinds, while Roy Jacobs is represented by Attorney-in-law Dexter Todd. Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Teshana James-Lake is appearing on behalf of the State. This appeal was heard by the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, and Justices of Appeal Dawn Gregory and Rishi Persaud. Following the hearing on Thursday, Judges indicated that the Court would retain its ruling. Another man, Kevin October, who was convicted of the pensioner’s murder and filed an appeal, died earlier this year in prison. Reports of his surrender following a battle with COVID-19. (G1)