Death row inmate pleads not guilty to 2008 murder of soldier
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Mark Royden Williams called ‘Smallie’
Mark Royden Williams called ‘Smallie’

A MIXED 12-member jury was, on Wednesday, empanelled before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Demerara High Court for the trial of death row inmate, Mark Royden Williams, called ‘Smallie’, who is accused of killing a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier in 2008.

Williams, formerly of Friendship, East Coast Demerara, denied murdering Ivor Williams, 24, on January 23, 2008, at Buxton, ECD.

The state is being represented by prosecutor Taneisha Saygon and Muntaz Ali, while attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes, is on record for the accused.
The trial is expected to commence on June 27.
In 2020, Williams’ co-accused, Sherwin Nero, called ‘Pattacake’ opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter, when he was arraigned for murder. Nero was sentenced to time served since he had already spent 154 months on remand.
Meanwhile, in 2019, Nero and Williams were freed of the 2007 murder of Kumar “Mango Man” Singh after a 12-member jury found them not guilty of committing the crime.
In February 2017, Williams was sentenced to death when a jury found him guilty of eight counts of murder in relation to the 2008 Bartica massacre in which a dozen persons, including three police officers, were shot dead. He has since appealed the conviction.
Several months later, in July 2017, he escaped from the Georgetown Prison during a riot; it is believed that he was the mastermind. However, he was nabbed on October 9, 2017, at Weldaad, West Coast Berbice, while travelling in a public minibus.
In 2013, Williams was acquitted after a 12-member jury found him not guilty of the charges against him in relation to the 2008 Lusignan massacre, which claimed the lives of 11 persons, including five children.
The matter was appealed all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which in 2018, affirmed the acquittal of Williams.

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