Mistrial declared for man on armed robbery, attempted murder charges

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A 24-year-old man of Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice Corentyne), who is before the court on three counts of robbery under arms and one count of attempted murder, was on Wednesday given a mistrial.

Curt Batson was indicted for robbing Parsram Sookraj of $315,000 and two cellular phones valued $19,000. He is also accused of robbing Anil Sookraj of $500,000. Both robberies are said to have been committed on May 9, 2016, at Rose Hall Town.

Baston pleaded not guilty to the indictment when the allegations were read to him on Tuesday at the Berbice High Court and the matter was adjourned to Wednesday.

However, on Wednesday, Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall informed the jury that one of the jurors had met with an accident and will not be able to attend court for a long period.

At the time, there were only ten jurors present.

The court asked State Prosecutor Seeta Bissoondial and Attorney Saria Sabsook whether they wanted to continue the trial with ten jurors.

Both said that it will be advantageous for them to have the full component of 12 jurors.

Justice Morris-Ramlall informed the jury that while there are provisions in the law to proceed with only ten jurors, seeing that the principals in the trial had requested not to proceed she had no choice but to discharge the jury.

“Another jury will have to be empanelled for the accused,” she said and the trial was recorded as a mistrial.

Meanwhile, the general panel of jurors will have to return to court on January 28, when 12 of them will be selected for a fresh trial.