Bartica Massacre trial: Defence begins closing arguments

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As the Bartica Massacre trial nears its end, Defence Attorneys Roger Yearwood and Shaphier Husain presented their closing arguments for Mark Royden Williams and Dennis “Anaconda” Williams at the Demerara High Court on Monday. However, the court was once again told that “Anaconda” is refusing to attend the trial.

Mark Williams, Dennis “Anaconda” Williams and Roger Simon are the three accused standing trial for the Bartica Massacre
Mark Williams, Dennis “Anaconda” Williams and Roger Simon are the three accused standing trial for the Bartica Massacre

The Attorneys told the jury to disregard the testimonies of self-confessed gang member Clebert Reece and former teenage gang member Dwane Williams, who both testified that both Williams’ were present at Bartica during the deadly attack. Defence Counsels instead focused on the account of Michael Caesar, another self-confessed gang member, who recounted conversely that the two standing accused were not present at the attack.

Husain told the members of the jury that “no evidence” of the shooting was provided in court and that it would be unsafe for any jury to find Dennis Williams present at Bartica. The attorney further claimed that Michael Caesar was “not moved” by cross-examination, noting that this evidence creates “reasonable doubt” that his client was there.

Clebert Reece and Michael Caesar pled guilty to manslaughter late last year and were sentenced to 420 and 1080 years imprisonment respectively. Caesar’s sentence carried more years as he admitted involvement in the January 2008 massacre at Lusignan. The two defendants, along with Roger Simon, called “Goat Man”, are accused of being part of the Rondel “Fineman” Rawlins gang that killed 12 persons at Bartica on February 17, 2008. The trial continues today before Justice Roxanne George, SC, at the High Court in Georgetown where Defence Counsel representing Roger Simon, Peter Hugh, is slated to make his closing arguments to the jury. This will be followed by the State’s closing arguments.

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