Three years later, man freed of murder of Linden footballer Leonard Peters

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After being behind bars for almost three years on a murder charge, Michael Emanuel called “Gilly” was freed by the High Court on Monday after Justice Sandil Kissoon upheld a no-case submission made by his attorney Damian DaSilva.

Emanuel was on trial at the Georgetown High Court for the murder of Linden footballer Leonard Peters, also known as “Lenny,” on December 21, 2018, at West Watooka, Linden.

According to the State’s case, there was a social event on the date in question at West Watooka, during which a misunderstanding developed between Peters and Emanuel.

It was alleged that Peters had accidentally spilled alcohol on Emanuel, and this subsequently resulted in a physical confrontation. It was further alleged that Emanuel whipped out a knife and stabbed Peters to his chest.  Peters was rushed to the Linden Hospital Complex where he reportedly died while receiving medical attention.

After state prosecutors Taneisha Saygon, Lisa Cave and Muntaz Ali closed their case, attorney DaSilva submitted that the defence had no case to answer since the prosecution failed to disapprove that Emanuel acted in self-defence.

Justice Kissoon agreed to the case of self-defense and said, “there is no direct evidence before the court that the accused at any time inflicted the fatal injury on the deceased.” He also said the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence, while according to eyewitnesses, Emanuel was armed with a piece of wood and not a knife.

Justice Kissoon thus directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

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