Teen committed to stand High Court trial for murder

The Preliminary Inquiry (PI) of murder accused teenager, Christopher Chung closed on Thursday, where the lad was committed to stand trial in the High Court.
For the last several months, the 17-year-old West Bank Demerara (WBD) resident appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the PI in the Wales Magistrate’s Court on allegations which stated that on July 17, 2016, at Unity Street, La Grange, WBD, he murdered labourer James Stewart, 51.
The man’s lifeless body was found along the road near his Lot 101 Unity Street, La Grange home.
At Thursday’s court hearing, Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Campbell informed the court that the prosecution had concluded its case against Chung.
In handing down the court’s determination for committal, Magistrate Nurse observed the court was of the view that the Police caution statement (CS) was obtained under pressured circumstances. As such, he ruled the CS as inadmissible, meaning that the CS will not be included in the case file at this stage.
The presiding Magistrate however deemed Stewart’s death as unlawful, and as such, the court ruled that a prima facie case was made out against the accused.
“It is the view of the court and there is sufficient evidence,” Nurse told the accused.
When asked if he had anything to say, Chung answered in the negative: “No my worship.”
Chung’s attorney, Defence Counsel Bernard De Santos, SC, informed the court that he did not wish to call any witnesses.
Thereafter, Magistrate Nurse told the teenaged murder accused that he has been committed to stand trial at the next practicable sitting of the criminal session in the High Court.
According to reports that surfaced last year, the teen had confessed to the murder on August 1, 2016. However, during Chung’s arraignment, it was maintained that there were “gross violations of law” committed on the accused, as the defendant had been held in Police custody for over 84 hours and was not afforded the privilege of an attorney at the time.
Nevertheless, it was contended that the youth had allegedly told Police that Stewart had knocked him off his bike, which caused him to fall to the ground.
This was said to have angered Chung who reportedly went to a friend’s home and borrowed a hammer and returned to where he had last seen Stewart. It was then he reportedly struck the man once to the head with the hammer.
However, relatives of the deceased had contended that robbery was the motive behind the attack. Stewart had reportedly been drinking at ‘Ann Jones’ shop’ on the night he was killed.
His post-mortem report revealed he died from haemorrhaging and multiple injuries to the head.