The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), moments ago, upheld the 2013 decision of the High Court, which found that insufficient evidence was presented to convict Mark Royden Williams, and James Anthony Hyles for the 2008 Lusignan massacre.
“The appeal is allowed and the decision of the Court of Appeal set aside, and the jury’s verdict of acquittal of the appellants is restored,” CCJ’s President Sir Dennis Byron said while delivering the verdict this morning.
Hyles called, ‘Sally,’ and Williams, called ‘Smallie,’ were found not guilty on each of the 11 counts of murder in August of 2013 by a 12-member jury before Justice Navindra Singh.
‘Smallie’ and ‘Sally’ were allegedly a part of the notorious criminal gang headed by Rondel ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins and were accused of killing 48-year-old Clarence Thomas, his 12-year-old daughter Vanessa Thomas and his son Ron Thomas; 32-year-old Mohandai Gourdat and her two sons, four-year-old Seegobind Harrilall and ten-year-old Seegopaul Harrilall; 22-year-old Shazam Mohamed; 55-yearold Shaleem Baksh; Seecharran Rooplall, 56, his wife Dhanrajie Ramsingh, 52 and their 11-year-old daughter Raywattie Ramsingh, on January 26, 2008 at Track ‘A’ Lusignan in the wee hours of the morning.
Following the not guilty verdict the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Hack, appealed the decision and the Court of Appeal overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial.
However, attorney for the men, Nigel Hughes sought the intervention of the CCJ which resulted in this morning’s restoring of the not guilty verdict.
Williams who was found guilty on eight counts of murder and four counts of manslaughter in the February 17, 2008 Bartica massacre was sentenced to death by hanging, along with Dennis “Anaconda” Williams.