Five years after he was charged with the murder of Sophia shopkeeper Shawn Anys, the trial of 24-year-old Odel Roberts commenced on Wednesday before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and a 12-person jury at the High Court in Georgetown.
Roberts, called “Gully Side”, who is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Damien DaSilva, pleaded not guilty to the charge, which alleged that on May 1, 2015, he murdered Anys during the course of a robbery.
The murder accused is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for trafficking marijuana.
State Counsels Tiffini Lyken and Nafeeza Baig are appearing for the prosecution. Following the empanelling of the jury, the Prosecutors called a number of witnesses to the stand. This trial is scheduled to last for three days.
Anys, who owned and managed a small grocery shop at his home, was confronted by the bandits just before 23:00h on the night in question. 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.
Another man, Jamal Forde was also charged with Anys’ killing. However, Forde was 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.