Blue Martini murder trial commences

Shawn Harris called ‘Shawny’

THE trial pertaining to the 2017 murder of Sunil Singh called ‘Grey,’ who was killed in the vicinity of the Blue Martini nightclub in Kitty, commenced on Tuesday before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow and a 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court.

Shawn Harris, 31, called ‘Shawny,’ formerly of Pike Street, Kitty, Georgetown, had pleaded not guilty to the charge, which read that on February 5, 2017, at Owen Street, Kitty, he murdered Singh.

Harris is represented by attorney-at-law Maxwell McKay, while the state is represented by prosecutors Shawnette Austin and Sarah Martin.

The state called Detective Constable Collis Duke to take the stand, after which he was asked to identify over a dozen photographs he took of the crime scene. They were marked, tendered and admitted as evidence; Duke then explained what each of the photos depicted.

The trial has been adjourned until December 4, 2019.
According to reports, patrol ranks went to the Blue Martini nightclub and closed the club about 02:45hrs on February 5, 2017, after which they left.
However shortly after, according to Charles Valenzuela, an employee of the nightspot, three men arrived and wanted to enter the club.

At that point in time, the young man informed them that the club was closed and this resulted in an argument, during which one of the men stabbed Valenzuela to his left arm.
Singh, who was present at the time, intervened and was trying to make peace when the suspect, dealt Singh a ‘lash’ to his head.

Singh then reportedly ran north into Railway Street, Kitty, and was pursued by his attacker, who caught up with him and stabbed him several times.

Both Singh and Valenzuela were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where Singh was pronounced dead; Valenzuela was treated and sent away.

Harris has had previous run-ins with the law: he was released from prison in 2016, after serving a sentence on a drug-related charge. He was also charged in connection with the Bank of Baroda robbery committed at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, on January 22, 2016.