Pump attendant charged with brutal murder of ex-wife; lawyer argues bias

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By Nigel Collymore

After a week in Police custody, 38-year-old Ryan Sugrim appeared before Magistrate Zamina Ally at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court on the West Coast of Demerara under heavy Police guard, charged with the brutal murder of his ex-wife, 37-year-old Zaila Sugrim.

The father of five was represented by Attorney Sanjeev Datadin and was not required to plead to the charge which alleged that he shot and killed the woman between May 11-14, 2019, according to Prosecutor Sherwin Matthews.

Police found the woman’s body buried in a shallow grave at the Shell Gas Station at Crane, WCD where Sugrim worked as a pump attendant.

The body was also partially burnt.

Zaila’s body was found Tuesday  last partially burnt and decomposed in a shallow grave on the western side of the Shell Gas Station at Crane, West Coast Demerara

Sugrim was remanded to prison until June 28 when the case will call again at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrate’s Court.

Datadin opened his arguments by stating it his belief that his client’s ability to garner a fair trial was put at risk due to the fact that unsubstantiated claims regarding the case have been regularly fed to the public.

Datadin told the Magistrate that his client’s right to an untainted jury could be heavily compromised as a result the speculation based on information already published about the case.

Datadin claimed that at the time of the alleged murder, his client who is a licensed firearm holder, was not in possession of his firearm since the gun was lodged with the Police.

The lawyer told the court that his office made a request for a ballistics examination to be done but no feedback has been received as yet.

Datadin denied reports claiming that his client showed police where to find the body of the deceased.

Zaila Sugrim’s body was discovered by Police on May 14 in a shallow grave at the Shell Gas Station at Crane.

She was reported missing three days prior. Police Headquarters had revealed that Sugrim confessed to the brutal crime while in Police custody.

A post-mortem confirmed that the woman died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Zaila had fled her home after 15 years of abuse at the hands of Sugrim.

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