[www.inewsguyana.com] – The only survivor of five persons that ingested cocaine laced SSS tonic earlier in the year, today testified in the ongoing trial.
Thirty – four – year Deon Layne, a miner of Freeman Street, East La Penitence, Georgetown, accused of lacing SSS tonic with cocaine was charged with drug trafficking in relation to the matter.
Survivor, 12 – year – old Jamal Watterman was given a competency test by Magistrate Latchman to determine whether he understands and capable was of taking an oath before testifying.
He said he was at home, in his bedroom, with his stepfather and younger brother when the defendant came to the house. Watterman said at the time his mother was at Church and when she returned she asked him to pass the plastic bag in the bedroom that had the tonic.
She reportedly broke the seal and poured some of the tonic into a snap glass and everyone consumed small portions.
He explained after he drank the tonic he felt numb and upset and eventually vomited. He said everything was normal and they were watching television in the living room, during which time everyone drank juice.
After a while he reportedly noticed his small brother swaying from side to side as if he would fall. He demonstrated to the Court how his seven-year-old brother fell out of the chair sideways and started to froth.
Subsequently, his stepfather ran out of the house and screamed for help. After which his uncle Dane, who he referred to as uncle Dany, came and along with his stepfather placed his brother in the vehicle and took him to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
When they arrived at the Hospital they were all taken into the Emergency room via a stretcher. He said that he spent about two weeks in the Hospital and he was informed that his mother, step father, brother and neighbour died.
He described the bottle in which the laced tonic was contained and further told the Court that it had the seal over the cork.
The accused, Layne, appeared in Court before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry on July 23 and was remanded to prison.
On his first appearance Police Prosecutor, Michael Grant said on the day in question at around 21:00 hrs the defendant went to the home of Candacy McGarrell’s niece who was visiting from the United States, to take some SSS tonics for his brother in the US.
The woman left Guyana without the tonic and five occupants of the home ingested the substance. Four later died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The Post Mortem Report Examination revealed that the persons died from consuming the tonic which was liquefied with cocaine.
Approximately, eight witnesses will testify in the trial. Among the eight are the 12-year-old and two Police witnesses Constable Shawn Critchlow who tendered the SSS tonic as evidence and Constable Jason Kyte testified thus far.
Layne did not ask the witness any questions and the case was put off to September 29 for continuation.
After the young man testified he walked from the witness box and headed straight towards his father who was seated in the gallery. He then leaned his head to his father’s left side arm and broke down in tears. His father comforted him and took him outside of the Courtroom.