4 Prison Officers among 6 remanded for aiding escape of death row inmate “Smallie”
A total of six persons, four of whom are Prison Officers, were on Thursday remanded to prison after answering charges of aiding the escape of death row inmate and mass murderer Royden “Smallie” Williams from the Mazaruni maximum security Prison last Friday.
The Prison Officers charged are Alexander Hopkinson, 58, of Bartica Housing Scheme, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); Oldfield Romulus, 50, of Victoria Street, Cumberland Village, East Canje, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); Conroy Hosannah, 35, of East Canje, Berbice; and Omar Witherspoon, 26, of Stanleytown, New Amsterdam Berbice.
They have been charged along with Rajmohan Autor, called “Chico”, a 48-year-old businessman of Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE); and Venezuelan national Frangeliz Jugandry Flores Perez, 28, of Kitty, Georgetown.
Hopkinson, who was rehired by the Prison Service after retiring, is the Superintendent of Prisons at the Mazaruni Prison, while Romulus is the second-in-command. They all appeared virtually before Bartica Magistrate Christel Lambert.
According to information, the defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, contrary to Section 34 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act, Chapter 8:01.
Hosannah and Witherspoon were represented by Attorney-at-Law Patrice Henry, Romulus was represented by Attorney Eusi Anderson, and Hopkinson was represented by Attorney-at-Law Bernard Da Silva. The others were unrepresented. The case will be called again on June 22.
Nevertheless, the search continues for Williams, as law enforcement officials intensify their efforts following his well-planned escape from Mazaruni Prison. It was reported that on the day in question, Perez visited Williams before his escape, and the boat captain who allegedly facilitated his flight was also arrested by the Police.
Williams made a daring escape from the prison with the assistance of heavily armed accomplices. The escape occurred in broad daylight and involved the use of a speedboat. During the escape, the escort party accompanying Williams was attacked with AK-47 rifles by the individuals on the boat, which was in the Mazaruni River. No Prison Officer was injured during the ordeal.
Following the escape, a reward of $10 million was announced by the Guyana Police Force for any information leading to Williams’s arrest.
Williams was found guilty of killing 12 persons, three of whom were Policemen, during the Bartica Massacre in 2008. He was sentenced to death in September 2022 for the murder of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Corporal Ivor Williams, who was shot dead on January 23, 2008.
Williams had previously escaped from the Camp Street Prison on July 9, 2017, but was eventually recaptured on October 10, 2017 on the Weldaad Public Road, West Coast Berbice (WCB). The Police have advised persons to take precautions and remain vigilant, as Williams and his accomplices are armed and are considered extremely dangerous. Investigations are ongoing.