The two cousins who were charged with the murder of a 17-year-old taxi driver back in June 2014 were on Tuesday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment each when they admitted their involvement before Justice Navindra Singh at the Georgetown High Court.
Appearing separately before Justice Singh, 20-year-old Ashraf Ally and 21-year-old Abdool Razack, both pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
Kemo Griffith, the defence counsel for the two cousins emphasised that the duo were teens at the time of the incident which led to the death of Dhanraj Latchman of Parika Backdam, East Bank Essequibo.
He noted that since then, the young men have enrolled in several prison programs to better themselves.
However, State Prosecutor, Tuanna Hardy maintained that the killing was a senseless act.
After some deliberation the judge passed down his 15 year sentence to each man, pending deductions for time served already.
The sentence brought about loud grumbles by relatives of the dead man. They told media operatives that the verdict did not give them justice for their lost loved ones.
Latchman’s mother, Taramattie Dabie, who was in a state of disrepair, tearfully cried out “this is not justice!”
“Ow God, this is not justice. Meh beg yuh. This is unfair!,” she cried out as she was being led out of the court.
After she calmed down, the distraught mother said “me nah satisfied. They get fifteen years imprisonment concerning meh son. Them tek meh son from my house and cyar him and kill he. Them had meh son life in he hand. They kill him because he know them. Is he own village people. Me nah satisfied. Fifteen years then they gotta cut it down three years. Sunday coming is three years fuhh meh son since he get murder.”
The mother also noted that she will be appealing the case. “Me guh review back the case. I will do it. I don’t care what ever it cost me, I will. If I got to guh thief, beg or borrow or whatever me gotta go do, do wrong thing fuh get money, I will because I need justice.”
Meanwhile, as Razack was being led to the holding cell in shackles, he told media operatives that he felt the verdict was unfair. He maintained that he did not murder Latchman, and had only pleaded guilty to “tek a chance.”
“…I never kill no one…When yuh don’t plead guilty and when you aint do ah act, you know the judge does still find you guilty or not guilty so that’s why I tek the chance.”
In June of 2014, the two men reportedly hired Latchman- who was a taxi driver- to transport them to Lusignan. However, their intentions were to reportedly steal the teen’s car.
As such, after arriving at their location, the two reportedly strangled Latchman to death with the seatbelt then dumped his body and made arrangements to sell his motor vehicle.
They were arrested after they gave conflicting stories to police. They later confessed to the gruesome act. (Ramona Luthi)