Ex-soldier on trial for killing friend found guilty

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Found guilty: Alistair Woolford

The former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Officer, Alistair Woolford who is accused of discharging a loaded firearm at his friend, Devon Howell with intent to murder him in November, 2014 at Kitty, Georgetown, was on Monday found guilty.

The verdict was returned by the jury with a 10-2 proportion.

Woolford had no facial reaction when the decision was heard in court.

He will be sentenced by Justice Sandhil Kissoon when his court resumes in August 2018.

The accused had denied that the manslaughter charge before Justice Kissoon and a 12-member jury empanelled to hear the case in the Demerara High Court.

INews had reported that Woolford led his defence at his High Court trial and claimed that his friend Devon Howell’s death was accidental.

In an unsworn statement, he said that he was only joking around when he squeezed the trigger and the gun went off.

The incident occurred on November 21, 2014 at D’Andrade Street, Kitty, Georgetown.

Howell, a former resident of Da Silva Street, Newtown, Kitty, had been hospitalised after the incident, but succumbed to his injuries on December 8, 2014, almost three weeks later.

It had been reported back then that the two men, along with others, had allegedly been taking turns feeling the gun when Howell was shot in the neck.

He reportedly received injuries to his upper spinal cord, and died without regaining consciousness.

Woolford was initially indicted with an attempted murder charge, but was later accused of manslaughter after his friend succumbed to his injuries.

The prosecution’s contention is that Woolford discharged the loaded firearm with intent to murder Howell.

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