Thirty-nine-year-old Wickroy Mitchell of Berbice walked out of the Matthews Ridge Magistrate’s Court, Region One (Barima-Waini) a free man after a murder charge against him was discharged by Magistrate Kevon Bess due to insufficient evidence.
On November 19, 2020, Mitchell called “Shatta” was charged and remanded to prison for the murder of a 16-year-old girl which occurred between November 15 and 16, 2020, at Coanna Backdam, Five Star, North West District (NWD).
Mitchell’s lawyer, Leslie Sobers, disclosed that the prosecution’s case was based “almost entirely” on an alleged confession statement from his client. At the end of a voir dire, he said that the court declared the caution statement inadmissible.
According to the lawyer, there were several other material inconsistencies in the prosecution’s evidence, including the evidence of the dead girl’s mother, whom he said was not “convincing” in her testimony and contradicted herself.
Sobers said that the Preliminary Inquiry into the alleged murder commenced in February, noting that the testimony of the prosecution’s sole eyewitness proved to be manifestly unreliable under cross-examination.
Police investigation revealed that on November 15, 2020, the now dead teen and her mother were consuming alcohol at a shop in the area. They were reportedly in the company of several persons. About 15:00h on the said day, the mother and daughter became heavily intoxicated, but insisted on purchasing more alcohol. They reportedly bought a quarter bottle of alcohol and some rice after which they left in the company of a man with whom they were imbibing.
According to the owner of the shop, the teen’s mother returned to the shop later in the day and spent some time. At around 07:30h the following day, the body of the teen was found lying in a motionless state behind the home she shared with her mother. An alarm was raised and ranks from the Matthews Ridge Police Station were contacted. Her cause of death was given as manual strangulation. (G1)