Businessman tells court has no memory of killing cousin; jailed for 7 years


A 33-year-old businessman was on Friday sentenced to seven years imprisonment for killing his 19-year-old cousin, Dave Boyal with an arrow during a scuffle at Blackwater Island Backdam, Cuyuni River on March 22, 2019.

Last month, David Smith, formerly of Batavia Island, Cuyuni River, was arraigned before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Suddie High Court for the capital offence of murder.

However, he opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.

During his sentencing hearing on Friday, Smith told the court: “I’m so sorry for what happened. I was under alcohol.”

Smith claimed he cannot recall much of what happened that fatal day; he only remembers waking up at the Bartica Police Station and being told that he had killed his cousin.

Prior to imposing the sentence, the judge said she took into consideration the nature and gravity of the offence and also that a dangerous weapon was used to kill the victim.

The judge noted that Smith is an adult and should have known better.  However, she acknowledged that he threw himself at the mercy of the court and did not waste judicial time.

As such, she sentenced him to seven years behind bars and ordered that the prison authorities deduct the time he spent on remand.

According to reports, Smith was the owner of the mining camp where Boyal was employed. On the day in question at around 22:00hrs, Smith was under the influence of alcohol when he cut down the hammocks in which Boyal and other miners were in.

It is alleged that Boyal tried to stop Smith when he was attacked and stabbed in his right abdomen with an arrow. Boyal was rushed to the Bartica Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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