Trio remanded to prison for murder of Henry cousins

The three men accused of murdering cousins Joel and Isiah Henry were remanded to Prison when they appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Akash Singh, 19, called “Monkey,” of Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo (EBE); his stepbrother, 33-year-old Anil Sancharra, called “Dan pole” and “Rasta,” of D’ Edward Village, WCB; and 34-year-old Vinod Gopaul, called “Magga,” of Yakusari, Black Bush Polder, Corentyne, Berbice are accused of murdering 16-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry between September 05 and 06, 2020.

The men made their appearance before Magistrate Peter Hugh and were not required to plea to the indictable charge. They were remanded to prison until February 02 and the matter was transferred to Blarimont Magistrate’s Court.

Singh had to answer two counts of murder charge – one for Isaiah and the other Joel. However, Sanchara and Gopaul were charged jointly for the murders.

Vinod Gopaul

Singh was arrested on Sunday last after Police received information. The others were then taken into custody the following day. This newspaper understands that, upon seeing the Police, Gopaul attempted to escape but was eventually apprehended.

Both he and Sancharra have remained silent, Head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum, told reporters on Thursday evening.

However, Singh has since confessed. He told the Police that he had accompanied Gopaul and Sancharra to the West Coast Berbice backlands sometime in August 2020 to cultivate cannabis.

Akash Singh

He said the duo had obtained the ganja from an individual and after planting the illegal crops, they then left the area and returned in September, but when they arrived at the farm, it was destroyed.

Singh told the Police that everything was sprayed with gramoxone – a chemical herbicide.

According to Singh, Gopaul and Sancharra started to use indecent language and decided to go to the individual who had given them the ganja plants.

But on the way, the trio met the individual’s workers who related that their ganja was also destroyed and weeds stolen, and started to assault them. However, the three suspects indicated that their farm was also damaged, and took the workers there to prove it.

Anil Sancharra

Singh said that they were then taken to the man who had given them the ganja plants, and while there, both Gopaul and Sancharra declared that they will “chop up” whoever destroyed their crop. At that point, Singh said, the man told them that two “wicked black boys” does go in the backdam and destroy their “things”, and eat out their foods.

Singh said that they spent the night there, and the following morning, when they woke up, he again heard the other two suspects scheming about what they will do to whomever destroyed the ganja farm.

He said some time after, while he was in the camp, he heard the voices of Gopaul and Sancharra. There were other voices as well, and as such, he went to check on who else was there.

Singh told investigators that he saw Gopaul and Sancharra with two boys, and gave descriptions matching the Henry cousins. He said the four of them were smoking weed and communicating when Gopaul raised the issue about the damaged ganja farm.

It was at that time that the “two boys” looked at each other and started to laugh.

According to Singh, Gopaul then told the boys that “I talking about my things being destroy and “y’all laughing, y’all gon feel pain”.

Singh said at that point the “tall one” get up and Gopaul dealt him a chop to the neck with a cutlass.

Sancharra then chopped the second boy to his neck.

Singh related that the two men kept firing chops about the bodies of the two young boys.

Singh said the boys’ bodies started “trembling” and then the two murderers turned to him to say that if he (Singh) does not join them, they will also kill him.

Singh related that he took a cutlass and started chopping at the two teens; he marked an ‘X’ on the forehead of one of the boys while Sancharra did the same to the other boy.

He then told the Police that duo left the camp with the bodies on a horseback, while he stayed back at the camp.

The account of what transpired is consistent with initial police findings that the area where the bodies of the teenage bodies were found was not the prime crime scene, but they were merely dumped there.

After his confession, Singh took investigators to the camp, and he pointed out where the murders took place.

According to the Crime Chief, only someone who is familiar with the area could have found the camp.

In the meantime, investigators are working aggressively to tie up the loose ends to ascertain the veracity of Singh’s confession.