Appeal Court defers ruling against conviction in 2012 D’Urban St murder

A ruling on an appeal filed by three men who are currently serving 80-year prison sentences for the 2012 murder of Glen Xavier, who was gunned down during a robbery, has been deferred to Monday by the Guyana Court of Appeal.
In 2017, a 12-person jury convicted Steffon Campbell, Faisal Moore, and Ray Yokum of the May 9, 2012 murder of Xavier, which occurred at the Cornbread Mini Mart at D’Urban and Lime Streets, Georgetown.
Justice Navindra Singh, presiding at the High Court in Demerara, sentenced them each to 80 years’ imprisonment. Justice Singh ordered that the men would become eligible for parole only after they would have spent at least 40 years behind bars.
Following the convictions, the men maintained their innocence and subsequently filed an appeal challenging their conviction and sentence on several grounds. They are arguing that the trial Judge made several errors in law rendering their convictions unsafe.
The Guyana Court of Appeal concluded hearing arguments in the case last year and was supposed to render its decision on Thursday.
While Moore and Yokum were represented by Stanley Moore, SC, and Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, Campbell was unrepresented as his lawyer recently died. In the circumstances, the court said it would grant him time to retain a lawyer and deferred the ruling to Monday.
It was reported that 26-year-old Xavier of Harlem, West Coast Demerara (WCD), was fatally shot when the trio, who were armed with guns, stormed the Mini Mart. After the robbery, they escaped with an undisclosed sum of cash on two Honda CG motorcycles. Xavier was shot to his chest and left arm and later died.
His cause of death was given as haemorrhage and shock due to gunshot injuries.
In passing the sentence, Justice Singh underscored that such violent acts would not be tolerated by the courts. He noted that a strong message needed to be sent to potential offenders and the scourge which seemed to have overtaken society would not be tolerated by the courts.
In fact, one of the men’s lawyers begged the court to temper justice with mercy, but Justice Singh declared that “there will be no mercy”.
In doing so, Justice Singh started the sentences at a base of 60 years, and made several additions for aggravating factors such as the use of a firearm and endangerment of the public, amounting to another 20 years.
During the trial, 14 witnesses were called by the State. The jury deliberated for a little over six hours, and only emerged once for further directions, before returning the unanimous guilty verdicts, in relation to each of them.