Recaptured escapee charged with murder of inmate

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A Smithfield New Amsterdam man, who was on remand at the New Amsterdam Prison but had escaped during a prison break on June 11, 2011, was on Monday, October 23, charged with murder.

Rickford LaFleur, 43, appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore in the New Amsterdam Magistrates Court, where he was not required to plead to the indictable offence; he was remanded to prison until December 08, 2017.

LaFleur was recaptured in Suriname by law enforcement officials last week; at the time of his escape, he was on remand for Murder and Possession of Narcotics for the Purpose of Trafficking. During his court appearance today, the court heard that on May 1, 2011, while on remand at the New Amsterdam Prison, he murdered Sebastian Cleto.

According to reports, LaFleur was first arrested during November 2010 when he was accused of murdering Cleveland Hetmyer called ‘Water Dog’, 33, of High Dam, Angoy’s Avenue. At that time, Hetmyer was shot to death reportedly during a confrontation between LaFleur and another man at Silverballi Gutter, some 90 miles up the Canje River on November 4, 2010.

It was following this incident that LaFleur was nabbed in March 2011 with two kilograms of cocaine and 600 grams of cannabis in his possession to which he was charged and remanded to the New Amsterdam Prison.

However, while awaiting trial for that murder and narcotics, he was charged with murdering an inmate.  It is alleged that between April 27, 2011, and May 4, 2011, he along with others murdered 24-year-old Sebastian Cleto, called ‘Short Man’, ‘Plato’ or ‘Clato,’ of 42 Bent Street Wortmanville, Georgetown.

It is alleged that he and the others beat Cleto with a piece of wood and other instruments. Cleto, who was rendered unconscious due to an injury to the head, was rushed to the New Amsterdam Hospital before being transferred to the ICU of the Georgetown Public Hospital where he subsequently died.

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