Defence, prosecution in Lusignan massacre trial to address jury today


IN his address to the jury yesterday, defence counsel, Mr. Roger Yearwood urged them to return a not guilty verdict in favour of his client, number one accused Mark Royden Williams, called ‘Smallie’.

Defence counsel, Mr. Nigel Hughes will address the jury this morning on behalf of his client, James Anthony Hyles, called ‘Sally’.
Senior State Counsel, Judith Gildharie-Mursalin who is representing the state along with Tishana Lake will then make her final address on behalf of the prosecution and then the judge will adjourn the hearing until Friday when he will sum up the evidence to the jury.
Tomorrow being a national holiday, Justice Navindra Singh said that he would sum up the evidence on Friday after which he would hand the case to the mixed jury of seven women and five men for their consideration and verdict.
Williams and Hyles are facing trial for the murder of 11 persons who were gunned down in Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, on 26th of January, 2008.
Police investigations led to three persons being charged with murder.
But the third man, Dwane Williams, also known as ‘Small Friend’, who had given a confession statement to the police, has been freed of the charge and is now a witness for the prosecution.
Addressing the jury yesterday, Attorney Yearwood asked them to find that the police were unable to get evidence against the killers and so they had to beat a confession out of his client instead of pursuing scientific evidence such as fingerprints from cartridges and spent bullets.
The lawyer declared that there was no credible evidence against the accused whom he alleged had been made scapegoats for police incompetence and inefficiency.
This morning Attorney Hughes will address the jury on behalf of his client Hyles whose defence is that he was at his grandmother’s home at the time of the massacre and only knew of it when it came across as news on the TV following 20/20 cricket involving the West Indies which he and others were viewing.