FOUR years after the gruesome murder of businesswoman Samantha Benjamin, the trial pertaining to her murder commenced on Wednesday before Justice Sandil Kissoon and a 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court.
Currently on remand for her murder is Kevin Ramsaywack of Berbice. On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to the indictment which alleged that between March 25, 2015, and March 26, 2015 at Buxton, East Coast Demerara, he murdered Benjamin.
Ramsaywack is represented by Ravindra Mohabir, while the state is represented by prosecutors Abigail Gibbs and Mandel Moore.
Police Detective Orland Alleyne, who is attached to the Criminal Investigation Department and attached to the Crime Lab, was the first state witness to be called.
Alleyne told the court that March 26, 2015 at 09:30hrs, he was on duty at the police Crime Lab when he received instructions from the officer in charge.
The detective explained that based on the officer’s instructions, he equipped himself with a camera and went to the Buxton Seawall where he saw a large crowd.
The witness explained that it was high tide and he saw the remains of a headless body of a female Negro, which he later learnt to be Samantha Benjamin.
A search was conducted in the area which led to the discovery of the head and limbs of Benjamin’s body, except for the shoulder parts. Alleyne stated that he took 40 photographs of the body and the environs in which it was found.
After his testimony, Alleyne was asked to identify the photographs he took of the crime scene; they were marked, tendered and admitted as evidence. Alleyne then explained what each of the photos depicted.
The trial was adjourned until today, Thursday.
According to reports, on March 25, 2015, Benjamin was robbed at her Buxton home, allegedly by Ramsaywack and two other males. The men lashed her to the head then proceeded to ransack the house for valuables, particularly the room she had occupied.
After the men hit the woman to her head they proceeded to chop off her hands and feet, placed her in a wheelbarrow and wheeled her to the Buxton Seawall under cover of darkness.
At the seashore, one of the men reportedly decided to cut the woman’s head off and carve out her eyes.
On March 26, 2015, Benjamin’s torso was found but her head and limbs were missing. Shortly after, the police returned to the scene where the woman’s head, hands and feet were discovered not too far away.