A Mazaruni man was on Thursday last sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, after he appeared before a Judge and a Jury in the Suddie Supreme Court.
The defendant who was identified as Arthur Taylor of Mazaruni, was found guilty by the Jury for the murder of Wayne Johnson. The sentencing was given by Judge Priya Sewnarine Beharry.
It is alleged that on August 2, 2014 the defendant Arthur Taylor, rendered to the deceased Wayne Johnson, one knife stab to the left side chest, thus penetrating the heart of the deceased. The defendant, however, claims that Wayne Johnson fell on a broken bottle, and died as a result of the injuries sustained.
According to the murder accused, on the day in question an argument erupted between himself and the deceased on the Itabali landing over the defendant’s wife. The accused later added that there was a scuffle between himself and the deceased. The accused further told the jury that he acted in self-defense as Wayne Johnson was firing chops at him with a cutlass. At some point however the cutlass fell into the water, leaving Wayne Johnson unarmed. The accused said that as Wayne Johnson rushed towards him, he swung him on his stomach. The two men later took the fight overboard with Wayne Johnson on top of the defendant in a choke lock. The defendant said the fight ended when Chris Gibs pulled the deceased off him in the water.
Chris Gibs, a witness in the matter, related his side of the story stating “I heard a splash down at the landing, so I took my torch light and I went out to see what was going on. When I went out, I saw Wayne Johnson on top of the accused in a choke lock. I yelled at them multiple times and told them to stop,” Gibs said, adding “The water was becoming reddish, so when the accused pushed off Wayne Johnson I rushed him to my boat to get medical attention.” The Police after escorting Wayne Johnson to the Bartica hospital, found no murder weapon on the crime scene.
Johnson was pronounced dead an examined by a doctor Bourne at the Bartica Regional Hospital. Bourne noted that the deceased sustained a single stab wound to the left chest about 11cm in depth. Police on the following day however retrieved a brown kitchen knife, with a missing rivet. The accused claimed the weapon as his after recognising the missing rivet. He denies, however, stabbing the deceased with the weapon.
The defendant’s attorney was unable to prove to the court that his client was innocent, and that the deceased did indeed die, after receiving a stab from a broken bottle. The prosecutor noted that the deceased could by no means fall on a bottle and sustain the injury when he was in a choke lock on top of the accused all the while. The prosecutor also noted that there’s a narrow probability that a bottle can make a single stab wound at 11cm depth.
After deliberating on the evidence for more than an hour, the Jury ruled the defendant guilty in a verdict of 10:2. The judge then passed sentence for the accused to serve 20 years imprisonment. Taylor was tried before in 2016 before another panel – this was his second appearance in court before two jury.