Alleged arsonist to stand trial in Sophia murders, given 14 days to find lawyer

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Murder accused Gavin Graham was on Tuesday given 14 days to get a lawyer to represent him in trial after continually refusing state assigned attorneys.

Eight months ago, the matter first was brought up before Justice Navindra Singh at the Georgetown High Court, but Graham refused the state assigned lawyer.  The matter was then put over to a new Assizes.

Graham on Monday appeared before Justice Sandil Kissoon when the January Assizes opened.

Justice Kissoon told Graham that the state cannot have persons languishing behind bars as he said: “it is unfair to have you locked away without a trial.”

Graham told the Judge that the state assigned lawyers were advising him to plead guilty, but he wants to go to trial.

The Judge granted Graham 14 days to find a lawyer of his choice; if not the state will assign him a lawyer and the matter will proceed to trial.

The matter will be recalled on January 28, 2020.

The 53-year-old man is currently on remand for the murders, which occurred on January 2, 2015, at Lot 6036 ‘C’ Field, Sophia, Greater Georgetown. It is alleged that he murdered his ex-lover Twobola Abrams, 38, and her stepfather Clifford Sampson, 68, by setting their home afire.

According to reports, on the day in question, Graham set Abrams’s Sophia home on fire and made good his escape. Sampson was trapped in the home and was burnt alive, while Abrams died at the Georgetown Public Hospital while receiving treatment.

Graham, who was reportedly seen by neighbours at the scene, was later arrested with minor burns about his arms and other parts of his body.

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