Notorious Royden Williams now facing nine death sentences

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Notorious mass-murderer and death row inmate, Mark Royden Williams was on Thursday handed another death sentence for the murder of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldier Ivor Williams which occurred in 2008.

Williams, also known as ‘Smallie’, was sentenced by Justice Sandil Kissoon at the Georgetown High Court.

In July, a 12-member jury found Williams guilty of killing the GDF soldier during an armed confrontation between the military and gunmen on January 23, 2008, at Buxton, East Coast Demerara.

In 2017, Williams was sentenced to death on eight counts of murder for the 2008 Bartica massacre. He, however, has appealed both his sentencing and conviction.

Also, in 2013, Williams was found not guilty of 11 counts of murder in relation to the 2008 Lusignan massacre.

During the sentencing hearing on Thursday for the GDF soldier’s murder, a probation report was presented by a social worker. The women said villagers from the Buxton/ Friendship community recounted the 2008 period was one of “terror.”

The residents further said that many young persons from the village were forced to be a part of the gang which spread fear and terror and that criminal influence hijacked their community.

The social worker in her report said that the victim’s grandmother said she has forgiven the convict for the hurt he has caused her family.

Additionally, the grandmother shared that her grandson did not get the opportunity to be a father to his only daughter who was a baby at the time of his demise.

State Prosecutor Taneisha Saygon asked the court to consider the seriousness of the offence and the aggravating factors attached.

Meanwhile, the convict’s attorney, Nigel Hughes asked the court to consider that his client is young and can be rehabilitated.

“That period in the history of our country was a difficult one,” Hughes said.

Meanwhile, Justice Kissoon while delivering his sentencing remarks said the crime was a “calculated effort to murder in mass recruit of soldiers for no reason, other than the fact that they wore the uniform and were members of the discipline service who struggle to defend and uphold the dignity of the rule of law and the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana.”

Justice Kissoon said that the court must take notice of the joint service ranks who often pay the ultimate price in the line of duty like Corporal Williams.

The Judge paid a special homage to Corporal Williams, who he said was a “young hero.

In sentencing, Justice Kissoon said that Williams’ case was among the “worst of the worst” which attracted the death sentence.

He said that Williams “has chosen a path of violent criminal existence. A lifestyle that he has pursued and embraced with profound enthusiasm.

“His victims come from all walks of life and they litter the landscape of our nation. Whether it is on the East Coast of Demerara, around the village of Buxton, Corporal Williams, or Bartica … The extreme gravity and the serious nature described cannot be overly imprecise.”

Justice Kissoon told Williams that he will have to suffer death for his criminal conduct.

Last year, Williams was freed of two counts of murder after a jury found him not guilty of killing two men during an armed robbery at a bar at Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara in 2007.

In 2019, Williams was freed of the 2007 murder of Kumar ‘Mango Man’ Singh after a 12-member jury found him not guilty.

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