“Make the right choices”— Judge advises duo acquitted of murder

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Two men – Shawn Edinboro, a former Policeman, and Michael Bishop – were Wednesday acquitted of a murder charge.

Before the men left the virtual courtroom, Judge Brassington Reynolds said to them, “Make the right choices going forward. I don’t want to read or hear about Bishop or Edinboro in any way or anything to do relating to crime.”

The young men were on trial for close to one month at the High Court in Demerara. It was alleged that between January 2 and January 3, 2014, in the county of Demerara, they murdered Raphael Campbell, a taxi driver of Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

Dead: Raphael Campbell

After deliberations Wednesday, the 12-member jury returned unanimous not-guilty verdicts in relation to both men. Accordingly, Justice Reynolds informed them that they were discharged and free to go. At the announcement of the verdict, Edinboro raised his hands in relief.

When asked by the Judge if he had anything to say, he replied, “I am speechless at the moment. I would like to thank everyone, even the Prosecutor. I would like to thank my Attorney as well.”

Meanwhile, Bishop, who could not hold back tears, echoed similar sentiments.

For his part, Justice Reynolds advised the men to see their acquittal as an opportunity to make something of the rest of their lives. He told them to reflect on the past seven years of their lives and the experience of having their freedom taken away as a result of incarceration.

“Grab this opportunity with both hands,” the Judge said to Bishop and Edinboro, adding that he trusted that they would ask God to take control over their lives and point them in the right direction.

During the trial, Edinboro was represented by Attorney-at-law Latchmie Rahamat, while Bishop was represented by Attorney-at-Law Bernard DaSilva. State Counsel Seeta Bishundial and State Counsel Tyra Bakker presented the case for the prosecution.

In November 2020, another man, 23-year-old Shawn Collins was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the taxi driver’s killing. He was arraigned before Justice Navindra Singh and opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

Reports are that on January 2, 2020, Campbell picked up a few male passengers at Camp Street, Georgetown, and took them to a village on the East Coast of Demerara, where he was robbed and slain. His body was found the next day at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.