Ex-GDF Captain to spend life in prison for killing reputed wife

Former Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Captain Orwain Sandy was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after serving 20 years, after he admitted to shooting his reputed wife, Reona Payne to death on March 31, 2018.
Initially, the 38-year-old man was indicted for murder, but he opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. He admitted that he shot Payne 14 times with his service revolver.

Orwain Sandy and Reona Payne in happier times

Sandy, a father of four, appeared via Zoom before Justice Sandil Kissoon for sentencing on Tuesday.
The court heard that on March 31, 2018, Sandy and Payne, a mother of three, were in a motor car proceeding along First Street, Alexander Village, when an argument ensued after the then GDF Captain accused her of infidelity. According to reports, Sandy suddenly stopped the car, and as the woman exited, he shot her 14 times.
After the incident, Sandy – who was a Special Assistant to the Chief-of-Staff – turned himself in at the Ruimveldt Police Station.
He was subsequently charged for murder. He was granted an application to be mentally evaluated after his attorney, Ravindra Mohabir told the court that the examination was critical to his client’s well-being, since he had been consulting with a psychiatrist for two years prior to the fatal shooting.
During the virtual hearing, the father of Payne’s children, Richard Bevany, as well as her children, shared how the death of Payne has affected them. Bevany told the court that the passing of his children’s mother has caused their children to lose focus in school.
In fact, Payne’s daughter and son relayed to the court that they “miss” their mother “very much” and feel like their entire world is falling apart. Meanwhile, Sandy’s lawyer, in a plea of mitigation, told the court that on the day of the killing, his client had a “sudden and temporary loss of self-control due to provocation”.
Mohabir related that Sandy asked Payne to call the person she was having a relationship with and demanded that she ended it. In response, Mohabir related, Payne threw his client’s gun out of the car window, which angered him.
Justice Kissoon asked Sandy if he has anything to say and Sandy responded by saying that the incident has increased his passion for advocating against domestic violence and intimate partner violence.
With tears in his eyes, the father of four added that ending his first love’s life has left a hole in his heart, that he did not think would be filled. He narrated that on the day of the killing, he suffered a mental breakdown and that after the killing, he was haunted by suicidal thoughts. Moreover, Sandy urged young men to learn from his actions.
Meanwhile, State Prosecutor Lisa Cave told the court that it needed to send a strong message that such acts against women would not be tolerated and impose a severe sentence. (G1)