Three men freed as Police fail to produce evidence in brutal murder of Berbice woman
Four years after the brutal murder of Tain, Corentyne domestic worker Leelawattie Mohamed, the case against three of the men who were charged has been dismissed for lack of evidence.
Berbice High Court Judge Justice Jo-Ann Barlow ruled in the case on Tuesday.
In June of this year, Andre James called ‘Tattoo,’ Oliver Permaul called ‘Barber,’ and Rohan Johnson called ‘Jamacie’ had appeared via zoom at the Berbice High Court and they all pleaded not guilty to the 2017 murder.
Justice Barlow pointed out that there was a lack of evidence against Permaul and that there were no witnesses called against him. The Judge also posited that the caution statement garnered from the other two accused was deemed inadmissible, noting that it was not obtained freely and voluntarily.
Additionally, Detectives Lance Corporal Emanuel Davidson and Dexter Torrington were not clear to the court how the caution statement was obtained, Justice Barlow said.
No-case submissions made out by the trio’s attorneys were subsequently upheld by the Judge and the jury was then directed to formally return verdicts of not guilty for the trio.
Johnson was represented by Attorney-at-law Sasha Roberts, James by Attorney-at-law Tanya Warren-Clements and Permaul was represented by Attorney-at-law Ravindra Mohabir. The state was represented by Prosecutrix Abigail Gibbs.
On the 7th February 2017, three men, one armed with a loaded gun, stormed the home of Leelawattie Mohamed who was 45 years old at the time.
She lived with her two children in a small two-bedroom wooden house at Tain.
Mohamed was shot to the throat and the men escaped, leaving her children unharmed and nothing stolen.
Nazeema Permaul, Shabiki Thompson, Oliver Permaul, Andre James, Rohan Johnson and Indira Outar were all arrested, hauled before the courts and charged.
Subsequently, the cases against Nazeema, Shabiki and Outar were all dismissed and those three were set free in 2018 and 2019 respectively.