Ryan Van Lange, of 69 First Street, Kaneville, East Bank Demerara (EBD), has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he murdered his cousin-in-law, Jason Ramatar on May 31, 2015.
A 12-member mixed jury was on Monday empanelled to hear the case in which eight witnesses are expected to testify.
The State contends that the accused and the victim were present at his wife’s birthday party the day before the night in question. Hours later, in the wee hours of May 31, 2015, Van Lange killed Ramatar by way of stabbing with a knife. A post-mortem revealed that he died from shock and haemorrhage due to four incised wounds. The knife penetrated his jugular artery and lung. The young man, who was 24 years of age at the time of his demise, was a father and his wife was pregnant with another child.
The defence, led by Attorney Mark Conway, however claims that it was an intruder who committed the act and Van Lange never knew Ramatar.
Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy and Siand Dhurjon are presenting the State’s case. A police witness is expected to testify on Thursday after which the trial will resume on May 29, following a short break.
According to reports that surfaced at the time of the supposed break-in attempt, the electricity was deliberately disconnected as wires were cut. The Police, however, suggested that the accused and the now deceased man had argued over purchasing more alcohol. It was after this that a scuffle allegedly ensued, and Van Lange armed himself with a kitchen knife and stabbed the now deceased man several times.
Ramatar succumbed to his injuries, after he had been rushed to the Diamond hospital, EBD.