Amidst confusion, ‘Smallie’ cremated by State


Amidst chaos and confusion between relatives and law enforcement, convicted mass murderer and death row inmate, Royden ‘Smallie’ Williams was finally laid to rest on Friday.

In keeping with the laws of Guyana, Williams’ body was not handed over to the relatives for burial; instead, the State funded the funeral service at the Memorial Gardens in Georgetown and allowed the family to view the body and perform his rites before he was cremated.

The government, through the Home Affairs Ministry on Friday, said that up until 08:00 hrs on Friday, the family was in agreement with this arrangement.

However, at a press conference just after 12:00 hrs, held at the office of attorney Nigel Hughes, Williams’ father, Morris Williams expressed frustration about not having full custody of his son’s remains even after his death.

Family members of Williams at the funeral service (Photo: News Room/June 9, 2023)

In light of the circumstances, Williams sought legal representation from Hughes, Fields and Stoby Law firm and was represented by attorney Ronald Daniels, who on Friday indicated plans to file a legal action in the courts, possibly to halt the cremation but this never materialised.

However, although relatives refused to press the start button for the incinerator to burn Smallie’s body, the process automatically commenced amidst the confusion after the body lay there unattended for 45 minutes.

Royden Williams’ father, Morris Williams and his lawyer, Ronald Daniels at the press conference (Photo: News Room/June 9, 2023)

Williams was charged with a total of 23 counts of murder, including the Lusignan and Bartica massacres. He was found guilty of nine counts of murder, inclusive of murder of women, children and the death of a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) officer and sentenced to death on each.

As a result of his conviction, Williams was the property of the State and it is under this ground that the State laid him to rest and kept his body.

Royden ‘Smallie’ Williams was cremated following a ceremony at the Memorial Gardens (Photo: June 09, 2023)

The lawyer is, however, arguing that Williams has pending appeals in the court and so, he should not be the property of the State.

And in maintaining its position, the government in a statement noted that unless the convictions and sentences were set aside or reversed by a court, Williams’ body will remain with the prison authorities, as provided in the law.

According to the Home Affairs Ministry, appeals filed and pending against his multiple convictions and sentences do not affect this position.

Mark Royden Williams

After several failed attempts to elude law enforcement officials, Williams and an accomplice, Odel Roberts were shot and killed by law enforcement officers on June 1.

Days before, another of his accomplice Neon Howard was killed during a confrontation with the Police.

Williams in a daring daylight ordeal and assisted by men with high-powered weapons, escaped from the Mazaruni Prison on May 19.

1 Comment
  1. Xhrp2wkb1 says

    Burn in Hell, demon!!

    Maybe I missed it but I never heard an apology from his family to the families of the victims.

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