Mark Royden Williams appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon on Monday to face trial on two murder charges. Williams, also known as “Smallie”, is accused of the December 16, 2007 murders of 35-year-old Rajesh Singh and 25-year-old Fazil Hakim.
The murders occurred at Lot 82 Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara.
Following a virtual appearance at the High Court in Demerara, Williams, who is being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels, pleaded not guilty to the charges. State Counsel Lisa Cave and State Counsel Tyra Bakker are appearing on behalf of the prosecution.
The Police in a statement on the killings had said that Hakim, Singh, and another man were consuming alcohol at a shop owned by one Narendra Mukhram when bandits turned up.
As Mukhram went to close the shop, he was confronted by three men who were armed with a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. One of the gunmen held him at gunpoint and took him to his home next door.
The other two gunmen entered the shop and one of them ordered the three patrons to lay on the ground. When they hesitated, the gunmen opened fire, killing Singh and Hakim. Over at the house, the armed men held Mukhram’s wife and children at gunpoint and demanded jewellery and cash. According to reports, they handed over $500,000 in jewellery and $300,000 cash to the gunmen.
The cause of death of the two men was given as shock and haemorrhage due to multiple gunshot wounds. At the time of his demise, Hakim called “Boyee” resided at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, while Singh called “Rabbit” lived at Martyrs Ville on the East Coast of Demerara.
Heerlall Seeram was the first witness who testified for the prosecution. Seeram told the 12-member jury that during December 2007, he lived at Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara. He said that about 21:00h on December 16, 2007, he was at home when he heard loud explosions, sounding like gunshots coming from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).
The witness told the court that he went outside and ran towards “Navin Rum shop” where he saw a large crowd gathered. He testified that he went through the crowd and into the rum shop where he saw Singh and Hakim lying motionlessly in a pool of blood on the ground. With the help of others, Seeram said he placed the injured men into a car and drove them to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
He said that the men were seen by a doctor who pronounced them dead. The State’s next witness was Police Inspector Suraj Singh, the detective in charge of crime at the Turkeyen Police Station. His evidence led to the court conducting a voir dire. This trial continues on Wednesday.