The trial of the three men accused of carrying out the brutal 2008 Bartica Massacre resumes today at the Demerara High Court.
The murder trial will continue before Justice Roxanne George after a two-week adjournment.
Mark Williams, Dennis “Anaconda” Williams, and Roger Simon are the three standing trial for the killings, while co-accused Celbert Reece and Michael Caesar both pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter earlier in the trial.
Justice George had ordered probation reports for the two men. But after Reece’s report was completed and sent to the High Court early, he was sentenced to 420 years by the Judge. Justice George had begun the sentencing with 65 years for each of the count but deducted 10 years for the guilty plea, another 12 years for mitigating factors and eight years for the time spent incarcerated awaiting trial. This brought the sentence down to 35 years on each charge; however, the sentences will run concurrently. Reece will be eligible for parole only after serving 30 years in jail.
Meanwhile, Caesar is scheduled to know his fate by December 16.
When State Prosecutor Diana Kowlessar had first presented the case, it was stated that on February 17, 2008, while residents were watching a 20/20 cricket match on television, Mark Williams, Dennis “Anaconda” Williams, and Roger Simon “struck terror with wanton disregard for life”, resulting in the deaths of 12 persons, including three Policemen.
The men, who were allegedly part of the Rondell “Fine Man” Rawlins’ gang attacked the town and fatally shot Police Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir and Constables Shane Fredericks and Ron Osborne. Edwin Gilkes, Dexter Adrian, Irving Ferreira, Deonarine Singh, Ronald Gomes, Ashraf Khan, Abdool Yasseen, Errol Thomas and Baldeo Singh were the civilians killed.