5 slapped with manslaughter charges over Berbice River boat collision

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The dead men: Julian McKenzie, Freeman Denheart, Romario Denheart and Kidman Lindie

Five men were arraigned for the death of four others following a boat collision in the Berbice River when they appeared before Magistrate Wanda Fortune at the Linden Magistrate’s Court. They were jointly charged for the lesser count of manslaughter.

The accused, 39-year-old Marvin Kissoon also called “Coolie Boy” of Lot 8 Sheet Anchor Village, Corentyne Berbice; 20-year-old Kevin Archer also called “Carl” or “Buckman”, of Maria Henrietta, Berbice River; 23-year-old Ramnarine Punwasie of Lot 12 #2 Village, East Canjie, Berbice; 51-year-old Carl Williams also called “Aguttie” of Lot 6 Adalphie Settlement, East Canjie, Berbice and 38-year-old Nateram Punwasie also called “Rajin” of Lot 12 #2 Village, Corentyne, Berbice.

They are accused of killing 40-year-old Julian McKenzie; 23-year-old Romario Denheart; 60-year-old Godfrey Denheart and 37-year-old Kidman Lindie on Tuesday April, 28, 2020, following a boat collision at Sandhills Village, Berbice River.

The five accused were not required to plea to the charges on Friday and were remanded to prison until June 19 when they will make an appearance at the Kwakwani Magistrate’s Court.

The quartet were killed when a boat transporting marijuana collided with their vessel in the Upper Berbice River.

It was reported that the men were travelling in a boat in the vicinity of Friendship Village, Berbice River when the vessel transporting marijuana slammed into theirs and fled the scene.

At the time of the accident, Kissoon was the captain of the boat with four other passengers. However, as they travelled along the River, they noticed another vessel heading in their direction.

As such, Kissoon reportedly swerved to avoid a collision but instead collided head-on with the other vessel. The now dead man reportedly fell into the water and never resurfaced while the five accused fled the scene.

They were later arrested and previously charged with possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking but on Friday, they were arraigned for manslaughter.