SHAQUILLE Grant called ‘Soldier Man’ and Neville Forde will know their fate on Monday, as a 12-member jury is expected to return a verdict from their week-long trial.
The two were jointly charged for murder in the course or furtherance of a robbery.
The indictment read to the court, before Justice Navindra Singh, states that on May 5, 2017, in the County of Demerara, the duo murdered Andre Melroy Alexander in the course or furtherance of a robbery.
Reports are that on the said date, Alexander was at his bread stand at Dennis Street, Sophia, when the two men rode up on a motorcycle. The pillion rider requested three loaves of bread and paid with a $5000 note.
While Alexander was in the process of making the change, the same pillion rider whipped out a gun and demanded cash. When the man put up a fight, the robber discharged two rounds, one of which struck him in the stomach. The duo relieved Alexander of his cash and also escaped with the three loaves of bread. Alexander died the very night during surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The wife of the deceased, Beverly Alexander, was present at the bread stand when the incident occurred. She said that after the shots were fired, she ran for her life.
Both Grant and Forde pleaded not-guilty to the charge and the trial ended on Friday with defence attorneys Nigel Hughes and Adrian Thompson, and State prosecutors Tuanna Hardy, Sarah Martin and Teriq Mohamed making their closing addresses.
During the trial, several witnesses testified including the wife of the deceased. Beverly was one of the State’s main witnesses, and she narrated the events of the night in question. However, during cross-examination from the defence, Beverly said that the man she saw shot her husband wasn’t any of the two accused sitting on the bench in court.
There was another witness, however, Colwin Greaves, who said he was not too far away from the bread stand when the shooting occurred. In fact, Greeves said that the same motorcycle passed where he was standing, and he identified Shaquille Grant as the pillion rider.
However, under cross-examination from the defence, attorney Nigel Hughes pointed out several discrepancies in his testimony. Hughes alluded that Greaves was also one of the young men from Sophia who was picked up by the police for profiling. He suggested that Greaves may have told that story to pin Grant to the charge so that he can go free.
But the witness maintained that it was Grant he saw on the motorcycle, and he witnessed the shooting that was carried out by the same pillion rider that passed in front of him just a few minutes before.
The case will be summed up on Monday and the jury will deliberate and return with a verdict for the two accused.