Soldier reverses ‘guilty’ plea saying he was confused
On Tuesday morning, he pleaded guilty and was due to be sentenced in the afternoon. When the court was called to order in the afternoon, he told the Magistrate that at the time he pleaded guilty, he was confused about what was happening in court since he had no lawyer.
He further claimed that he had no knowledge of the robbery and the Magistrate accepted his not guilty plea.
King, 32, of Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo and two of the company’s security officers Delroy Jackson called “Bug”, 36, of Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara and Peon Lee called “Nino Brown”, 35, of Mocha, East Bank Demerara on Tuesday morning appeared before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on four charges related to the robbery.
The trio denied that on August 5, while being armed with guns and in the company of others, they robbed Wallison Enterprise of $38 million in local currency and $20 million worth of raw gold property of Francis Santos Lumes.
They were slapped with three charges for carrying out the armed robbery committed on Fernanda Carmicheal of a phone worth $350,000, Francis Santos Lumes of gold jewellery and cash amounting to $224,000, and William Batista Dasilva of a $60,000 cell phone.
The three men denied the charges and were all remanded to prison until August 24. King was unrepresented while his co-accused were represented by attorneys-at-law Dexter Todd, Dexter Smartt and Jacy Archibald.
As investigations continue, the Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum has told the News Room that ranks are searching for two other suspects who executed the robbery.
The Crime Chief had stated that the robbery was orchestrated by Lee while Jackson who was on duty and reportedly confessed that the robbery was to be executed on Wednesday, August 4, but because the owner’s family was there it was done the following day instead.
“He was feeding the information to the other three suspects when was the opportune time to commit the robbery,” the Crime Chief said.
Meanwhile, GDF, in a statement, acknowledged the involvement of the two ranks, noting, “Our military Police Department is fully cooperating and assisting the police as necessary.”
The other rank, a female, was subsequently released.
Police on Sunday made the breakthrough in the investigation with the recovery of a total of $18M which was found buried in King’s backyard.
A police release detailed that DaSilva, a 45-year-old goldsmith and Carmicheal, a 20-year-old cashier were at work at Wallison Enterprise when the bandits entered at 10:05hrs on the day in question.
The three suspects arrived in a white car and parked it north of the building and entered the compound, through the main gate. They reportedly indicated to the security guard that they were there to sell gold.
The armed suspects then entered the waiting area where they spoke to the cashier and showed her a small package, which they claimed contained the gold to be sold. The suspects then immediately drew their firearms and ordered her into an office where the money and gold were secured.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV cameras.