Odel Roberts, who was charged with the May 1, 2015 murder of Sophia shopkeeper, Shawn Anys, was on Wednesday acquitted of the charge following a not guilty verdict by a jury.
Roberts, also known as, “Gully Side” is currently serving a three-year prison sentence on a drug related charge.
Anys, who owned and managed a small grocery shop at his home, was confronted by the bandits just before 23:00h on May 1, 2015. According to reports, the man was in his home when he heard the dogs barking and ventured out of the house to investigate.
He was then confronted by two armed men, who forced him into the house and shot him while demanding money and valuables. The gunmen made off with $40,000 along with jewellery. Anys was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Roberts had always maintained that he was innocent of Any’s killing.
During his trial before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, he had told the court, “I was questioned of a murder and I stayed silent. I was escorted to CID HQ. I was questioned in a room with three other officers and a female officer in the room. Them ask me if I know anything about any murder that happen in Sophia on the 1st of May. I told them no. Them ask me again if I wish to write a written statement. I tell them I have no knowledge of no murder that took place because I was in prison.”
Roberts was represented by Attorney-at-Law Damion DaSilva, while State Counsel Tiffini Lyken and State Counsel Nafeeza Baig appeared for the Prosecution.
Another man, Jamal Forde, was also charged with Anys’ murder. However, Forde was also acquitted of the charge last December after Justice Sandil Kissoon upheld a no-case submission by his lawyers and directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.