Ex-soldier on trial for manslaughter says friend’s death accidental

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Former Guyana Defence Force member, Allistair Woolford led his defence at his High Court trial on Wednesday where he claims that his friend Devon Howell’s death was accidental.

Accused: Alistair Woolford

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

The defence called no witnesses.

The matter continues next Monday.

Woolford is accused of discharging a loaded firearm at electrician, Devon Howell, with intent to murder him on November 21, 2014 at D’Andrade Street, Kitty, Georgetown.

He has since denied a manslaughter charge before Justice Sandil Kissoon and a 12-member jury empanelled to hear the case in the Demerara High Court.

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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