4 charged with murder of elderly rice farming couple
The four men who were arrested and charged with the gruesome burning to death of Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo couple Mohammed and Bibi Jamila Munir were made to stand before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts yesterday.
Sanjay George, called “Coolie Boy”; Jason Howard, called “Smelly”; Joel Blair called “Joey” and Shabadeen Mohammed called “Milo”, all with sullen faces, appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty.
They had the murder charge read to them which stated that on April 17, 2016 at Good Hope, they murdered Mohammed and Bibi Jamila Munir during the course of arson. They were not required to plead to the indictable offence.
All of the accused were remanded to prison until January 12, 2017, when they will appear before the Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan.
Last week, the men were arrested and were said to have confessed to Police, giving a detailed account of the crime which they committed. A fifth person, Gavin Sheppard, called “Pepsi”, is currently being hunted by Police, to face the charge of murder.
According to the suspects, the attempted robbery was hatched after information that the couple had a large sum of money in their home. On the night of the incident, the elderly couple, who were reportedly asleep, were awakened by noises and later ordered out of their bedroom by the men.
However, as the couple failed to comply, one of the suspects confessed to setting a sofa in the home alight, after which he tossed a fuel cylinder into the fire which caused a huge explosion.
They then made good their escape. Attempts by neighbours to rescue the couple, who were heard and seen screaming for help from a grilled window of their home, proved futile. Their charred remains were discovered together after the blaze was doused.
One of the suspects, Jason Howard was also charged with five additional counts of robbery under arms. And he, along with another, Curtis Vasconcellos, was charged with another count of robbery under arms and attempted murder.
That charge alleged that the two men, on December 14, 2016 at Main Street, Georgetown, while being armed with a gun, wounded Valmick Persaud with intent to murder him. They were also charged with robbing Hotel Tower accountant Baldeo Seegobin on December 14, 2016 of $1.2 million, one chequebook and other items, all valued $2.9 million.
All were remanded and were expected to reappear before the court on January 12, 2017.