THIRTEEN years after two men were killed during an armed robbery at a bar on Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara, their killer, Michael Caesar, called ‘Capone’ was, on Thursday, sentenced after confessing to the crime.
Caesar, 36, is currently serving a 45 and 60 years sentence respectively for killing a total of 20 people during the Bartica and Lusignan massacres.
On Thursday, July 2, 2020, Caesar appeared before Demerara High Court Judge, Simone Morris-Ramlall, via zoom audio and video hearing. He was represented by attorney-at-law, Maxwell McKay, while the state was represented by prosecutor, Tuanna Hardy and Tyra Bakker. Initially, Caesar was charged for the capital offense of murder but he opted to plead guilty to the lesser charges of manslaughter.
He admitted that on December 16, 2007, he unlawfully killed Fazil Hakim, called “Boyie”, and Rajesh Singh, called Rabbit” at a bar on Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara. Caesar was also charged with two counts of armed robbery committed on Juman and Ravindra Mookram. He also pleaded guilty to these charges.
Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy read the facts of the case. She explained that on December 16, 2007 around 21:00 hours, Hakim and Singh, along with another man, were consuming alcohol at a bar on Agriculture Road. However, the bar was stormed by armed men who held them at gun point. The bandits went into the bar and robbed the owner and another man. Before making good of their escape, the bandits discharged their firearms, shooting Hakim and Singh. Hardy disclosed that a post mortem examination done on Hakim and Singh’s bodies stated that they died due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Nevertheless, Caesar was on the run from the police for his numerous criminal activities and fled to Suriname. In March 2009, he was arrested by the Surinamese authorities and handed over to the local police in Guyana. While in police custody, Caesar allegedly confessed to all of his crimes and told the police that he was the ‘look-out man’ for the Agriculture Road murder. Notorious mass-murderer, Mark Royden Williams, called “Smallie” was also fingered in the crime and is currently charged jointly.
The prosecutor also indicated to the court that the victims’ families are still traumatised and are living in fear. Prosecutor Hardy asked the judge to consider the fact that the crime was well planned and carried out with the use of guns and cutlasses.
Justice Morris-Ramlall first took into consideration that Caesar is currently serving two sentences with the maximum of 60 years with the possibility of parole after serving 40 years. After considering the nature and circumstances under which the offences were committed, along with the fact that firearms were used, Justice Ramlall sentenced Caesar to 36 years’ imprisonment on each of the two counts of manslaughter, and 30 years’ imprisonment on each of the two counts robbery under-arms.
The sentences were ordered to run concurrently. From the 36-year sentence for manslaughter, she deducted 12 years for his early guilty plea and another 11 years for the time he spent in pre-trial custody; hence arriving at the overall 13 years prison sentence in relation to the two counts of manslaughter and two counts of robbery under-arms. The prison sentence of 13 years was ordered to run concurrently with the 60-year prison term Caesar is currently serving for the Bartica and Lusignan massacres.