Appeal Court reduces 66 years jail sentence to 24 for murder convict
A man who was sentenced to 66 years for the murder of a woman in 2014, had his sentence reduced to 24 years on Tuesday by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the trial judge made several errors during his summation of the case to the jury.
Mark Assing, 48, was sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh at the Demerara High Court in 2014 after he was found guilty by a 12-member jury for the murder of Abiola Eadie, called ‘Abbie.’ The incident took place on June 20, 2012, at McDoom, East Bank Demerara, following a heated argument between the two.
Assing was sentenced by Justice Singh to a minimum of 60 years for the murder, with the possibility of parole after serving 30 years.
It was alleged during the trial that Assing had pulled out a gun and pointed it at the son of Eadie. Eadie was reportedly standing in front of her son when Assing fired the fatal shot that hit her in the mouth.
The woman succumbed to her injuries in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital 12 days after the incident.
Assing’s attorney, Glen Hanoman had filed the appeal on the grounds that Justice Singh wrongly admitted hearsay evidence from a witness, which proved to be more prejudicial than probative in his case, thus resulting in a substantial miscarriage of justice.
The defense attorney also argued that the trial judge failed to adequately direct the jury on how it needed to approach issues of conflict, inconsistencies and omissions in evidence, which in the end resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
The appeal was heard by Chancellor (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal, Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory, at the Guyana Court of Appeal. The state was represented by Prosecutor Diana Kaulesar-O’Brien.
Delivering the ruling of the court, Justice Cummings-Edwards said, among other things, that there were a number of errors committed by the trial judge in his summing up of the case to the jury.
Following the delivery of the judgment, the appellate court informed Assing that his sentence would be reduced to 24 years and his conviction for murder would be substituted with one for manslaughter.