…says state witness at Bartica massacre trial
A State witness who testified in the Bartica Massacre trial has implicated his co-accused as being part of the “Fineman” gang, which carried out the 2008 massacres at Bartica, Lusignan and Lindo Creek.
Dwane Williams, who was a 15-year-old gang member at the time of the February 17, 2008 Bartica attack, told the 12-member jury at the Demerara High Court on Tuesday that co-accused Dennis “Anaconda” Williams and Mark Royden Williams, called “Smallie”, were both involved in not only the Bartica massacre, but the Lusignan and Lindo Creek attacks as well.
His revelation comes just days after self-confessed Bartica Massacre boat driver Clebert Reece confirmed that co-accused Dennis Williams and Mark Williams were accomplices in the Bartica attack.
Dwane, known as “Small Friend”, testified that he camped out in the Buxton, East Coast Demerara backlands before being taken to Bartica by Reece, called “Chi-Chi”.
He told the court that he, along with several other individuals, had worked for ‘Fineman’s’ gang. These gang members included: “Papa Willie”; “Saint John” or “John-eye”; “Mud-up”; “Chung Boy”; “Smallie” (Mark Williams); “Kapone” (Michael Caesar) and himself.
The State witness related that four weeks after camping out in the Buxton backlands, “John-eye” was shot, and about two weeks after, the men left for the seawall where they were eventually transported to Bartica.
Led by State Prosecutor Stacey Goodings, Dwane revealed that he had known Mark Williams and Rondel “Fineman” Rawlins for about five years before they all joined the boat en route to Bartica.
He added that he would see Mark on his way to school and further told the court that he worked for “Fineman”. Under cross-examination, the witness revealed that at one point he lived with “Fineman”.
Dwane also told the 12-member jury that he had never seen “Anaconda” before the boat ride, but confirmed that “Chi-Chi” was the boat driver.
He recounted to the 12-member jury that after hearing “rapid gunshots” as several gang members carried out the Bartica attack, they returned, and “Fineman” shot five men at the Bartica Stelling using a hand gun, while one man was allowed to go free.
The surprise witness also recalled that the criminal gang had been camping out for several months before he was finally caught by Police. The camping areas included Linden, Ituni, Christmas Falls and Kwakwani.
The court heard that the gang members were taken in an “open-back” Jeep to Linden.
Dwane also recalled that during these stints, safes were opened and money, gold, diamonds and keys were all retrieved which corroborated Reece’s account of what transpired when the safes were opened.
He told the jury that some time during his stay at the Ituni camp, the members had left for Georgetown.
Some time after, the camp was ambushed, “Mud-up” was shot and the other members escaped and fled through the trail and Dwane was caught by Police on the 10th day when he had hitched a ride with a “truck man” who had assisted the gang. Dwane also told the court that he remained in Police custody.
Under cross-examination by Mark Williams’ Attorney, Roger Yearwood, Dwane explained that he gave two statements to Police. He stated that the gang was separated for one day only, and noted that he was afraid despite being trained “very well” in the use of AK-47s.
He also noted that he knew that persons had been killed at all three of the locations and even pointed out that he knew people would have been hurt before the Bartica attack was carried out. He stated that a total of 36 persons were killed in the attacks at Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo Creek.
Yearwood later grilled the witness over the statements he gave to Police following his 2008 capture, and asked if anyone has promised him any reward to testify against the other accused.
A visibly agitated Dwane responded that all information was given voluntarily and noted: “When I gave statements, I told them about Bartica, Lusignan and Lindo Creek. Nobody promised me anything.”
Dwane, whose Lusignan Massacre charge was withdrawn, will continue his testimony before Justice Roxane George, SC, today.
Earlier in the day, the cross-examination of Reece concluded and he claimed that he never saw co-accused Roger Simon at the time of the attack. Meanwhile, he also claimed that even though fellow gang-member Dennis Williams tried to “poison him”, that is not the reason why he gave evidence. (Guyana Times)