Two men jailed for life for murder of East Bank clothes vendor
Two men were on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment after they pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 40-year-old clothes vendor Purcell Moore during a robbery on December 20, 2017, at Old Road, Craig, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
Selwin Dawson, 24, called “Crack Skull” and Kevin Persaud, 25, called “Boyce” were arraigned before Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Demerara High Court for the capital offence of murder. The men both pleaded not guilty to the indictment, and trial commenced before a 12-member jury to hear the case.
However, during the trial hearing on Monday, both men opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
Persaud’s attorney, Damien DaSilva, asked the court to temper justice with mercy since there is hope for rehabilitation for his client. Meanwhile, Dawson’s attorney, Adrian Thompson, told the court that his client was remorseful and wished to apologise to the victim’s family.
During the sentencing hearing, the deceased’s mother, Gloria Moore, pleaded with the court to impose a life sentence to the two confessed killers for the hurt that they caused her family. The woman told the court that not only was her son’s life snuffed out by the two men, but they had also affected the life of his young daughter, who is now fatherless.
State Prosecutor, Lisa Cave, in her address to the court highlighted the prevalence of gun-related crimes in society and the need for it to be stopped. She also asked the Judge to send a strong message to like-minded individuals that such acts cannot be tolerated.
The judge considered that the victim was killed during a felony murder by the two accused and were equally responsible for his death. Justice Kissoon said that in Guyana, youths between the ages 20-30 are now armed with firearms which are illegally obtained to carry out criminal excursion as predators and prey upon innocent citizens on a daily basis.
“This callous crime and course of conduct displayed by these accused ought to be arrested… Members of society ought to be free to move about to engage to conduct their businesses,” the Judge said.
In the end, Justice Kissoon sentenced the duo to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 15 years.
According to reports, Moore was shot dead during an attempted robbery in the vicinity of the ‘shortcut’ at Old Road, Craig.
It was claimed that an argument reportedly erupted between the victim and the suspects, and it escalated into a scuffle, during which the armed suspect allegedly discharged several rounds.
He was rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Moore resided at Cayenne, French Guiana but was on a visit to Guyana at the time of his murder.
Persaud had allegedly confessed to investigators that he was the “look-out” man and pillion rider of the motorcycle while Dawson was the shooter.