Fmr. Army Chief granted $500k bail for causing death of national cyclist

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Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Rear Admiral (rtd), Gary Best was on Wednesday released on $500,000 bail by City Magistrate Faith McGusty for causing the death of national cyclist Jude Bentley by dangerous driving.

The 61-year-old of Sparedaam, East Coast Demerara was not required to plead to the charge which alleged that on February 8, 2020, at Clive Lloyd Drive, Georgetown, he drove motorcar PRR 8182 in a dangerous manner which resulted in the death of Bentley.

The former Chief of staff was represented by Attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes and James Bond.

In an application for bail, Hughes told the court that his client is a distinguished character in society.  Hughes argued that Best once served as a Presidential Adviser and is also a holder of the National Service Award.

The attorney also vouched for his client’s reputable character and claimed that Best is not a flight risk.

The court prosecutor objected to Best being released on bail citing the seriousness and prevalence of the charge.

Jude Bentley

He also told the court that at the time of the accident, Best was more than two times above the legal alcohol limit.

The Magistrate, however, released Bess on $500,000 bail with the condition that he report to Traffic Headquarters.

Best was then shackled and placed before City Magistrate Clive Nurse and was charged for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The court heard that his breath alcohol level was .85 micrograms; he pleaded not guilty to this charge and was released on self-bail.

The matters were transferred to court 8 and 9 for March 17.

The 41-year-old national cyclist was killed on the Rupert Craig Highway on February 8 while training when he was struck down by a Land Cruiser driven by Best.

Best was initially taken into custody but was released on $100,000 station bail. Two weeks after his death, Bentley’s friends and family picketed outside the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and called for charges to be laid against Best.

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