Judge, jury hear how Berbice road trip turned deadly in 2017
The prosecution called four civilian witnesses to testify on day two on the West Berbice murder trial which opened the February session of the Berbice Assizes. The session is being presided over by Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall.
On trial is 32-year-old Rawl Bernard, also called “Charles Telford” and “Redman”. He is indicted for the murder of 47-year-old Sylvan Lennox Stoll, called “Bowfoot”, of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, which was committed between August 13 and 14, 2017. Bernard, of La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, is being represented by attorney-at-law Chandra Sohan.
The State’s case is being presented by Attorney-at-law Tuana Hardy. The Prosecution is relying on Tammy Marks as one of its chief witnesses. She told the court that she, along with both the accused and the now deceased man, along with others, had gone to Berbice for a horse racing event, but by the time they got there it was over, and they went to a barbecue instead.
She said she was sitting in the conductor’s seat of the minibus when Stoll and the accused had an altercation, during which Bernard dealt Stoll three cuffs to his neck. The woman told the court that she could not see if the accused had anything in his hand at that time.
“Bowfoot told him to rest himself, he is violating whole night. Bowfoot slapped him two times and the accused pushed his head to the side and gave him three cuffs to his neck, and then both of them ran in different directions,” the witness told the judge and jury.
She said she saw someone by the name of Daniel Pereira bringing Stoll back to the bus moments later, and he had a T-shirt wrapped around his neck. She said that the shirt was removed and Stoll collapsed. According to the witness, after the injured man was taken to the hospital, they went to the Police Station to make a report. While at the Police Station, she said, the accused was seen walking past and was arrested.
Meanwhile, Daniel Pereira said the accused had hit Tammy Marks on her buttocks and he had spoken with him about the incident.
He said he later received several complaints about the behaviour of the accused at the barbecue.
Under cross-examination, the witness said the now dead man did not indicate to him who had inflected the injuries on him. Nevertheless, when they were in the yard of the Police Station, they saw Bernard passing, and he appeared to be walking to get back to Georgetown.
Pereira disclosed that it was he who had driven the bus from Georgetown to Berbice, and both Bernard and Stoll had been occupants of the vehicle. It is the same bus, he told the court, in which he had placed Stoll and rushed him to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Adelye Horatio, another witness, told the court that at the hospital, when the doctors removed the t-shirt from around Stoll’s neck, there was blood, and then he stopped bleeding.
In his testimony, Horatio said that, on their way to Berbice, while at Plaisance Village, East Coast Demerara, the accused and the now-deceased had had an argument.
He also related that when the accused was arrested outside of the Police Station, he had a knife with him.
Meanwhile, Government Pathologist Dr Vivekanand Bridgemohan gave the cause of death as shock and haemorrhage due to stab wound.
The pathologist explained that there was an incise wound to the neck measuring three centimetres and the wound went to the left lung, which caused it to collapse.
The trial continues today.
Meanwhile, as the Assizes opened, there are 103 cases listed to be heard during the February session. (G4)