Guyanese man pleads guilty to murder in US


(TIMES UNION) SCHENECTADY– A call to relatives by Dhanashar “Tony” Persaud for a ride home from work ended in murder and likely will mean decades behind bars for the Schenectady man. On Friday, the Guyanese native pleaded guilty to second-degree murder before Schenectady County Judge Karen Drago. Hours earlier, he confessed in an eight-page sworn statement that he fatally shot Ganesh Ramgoolam on Feb. 20, 2010, on Maple Avenue.
Persaud, 27, got a ride home from work with family members, who later convinced him to take part in the crime, the document states. A group of heavily armed family members, mostly made up of his cousins, the Parbhudials, had bad blood with another group. On the night he was gunned down, Ramgoolam got tangled up in that dispute, prosecutors have said.
Under the plea agreement, Persaud will be sentenced to 17 years to life in prison when he is sentenced April 8. On the second-degree murder charge alone, he could have faced 25 years to life.
Persaud also must testify against siblings Vishan Parbhudial, 23, and Angelene Parbhudial, 21, of 935 Maple Ave., Schenectady, and Angelene Parbhudial’s boyfriend, Richard Baliraj, 21, of Queens. All are scheduled to go on trial tomorrow before Visiting Schenectady County Judge Polly Hoye on charges of second-degree murder plus a variety of other offenses, including gang assault, weapons and tampering with physical evidence.
Omawattie Parbhudial, the Parbhudials’ mother, will be tried at a later date on multiple counts of hindering prosecution.
Hoye on Friday denied Vishan Parbhudial’s motion for a separate trial, according to Chief Assistant District Attorney Phillip Mueller.
Persaud’s attorney Michael Mansion on Friday cited the overwhelming evidence as a factor in his client’s decision to confess.
“I think he wisely chose to do this after all the evidence and decided it was in his best interest to cut his losses and admit guilt,” Mansion said.
Earlier this week, another Parbhudial sibling, Adrian, 25, was convicted of numerous charges, the most serious of which was attempted aggravated murder for shooting at two Schenectady police officers.
The day after Ramgoolam was killed, a police tactical unit carried out a raid at the Parbhudials’ home as part of their probe into the homicide.  ( DEMERARA WAVES)