One week after a 12-member jury found him guilty of murder, 44-year-old Curt Thomas was on Wednesday sentenced to 70 years in prison.
Thomas, also known as “Yankee”, was accused of the April 30, 2016 murder of Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) businessman Seeram Singh, who was shot to the head and hip during a robbery.
The sentence was handed down by Justice Navindra Singh during a virtual hearing at the High Court.
In arriving at the sentence for Thomas, Justice Singh started at a base of 60 years to which another 10 years were added for the crime, which, the Judge said, was well-thought-out.
He also ordered that Thomas would only become eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 40 years.
Following the hearing, Singh’s family expressed gratitude to the Court for ensuring that justice was served.
Thomas had pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecution’s case was presented by State Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy and Tyra Bakker.
At the commencement of the trial, it was revealed that Thomas was positively identified during an identification parade. In fact, the Court heard that gunpowder residue was found after a swab test was done on his hands.
Despite this, the now convicted killer maintained that he was innocent of the crime. Last week when the verdict was being delivered, Thomas jumped out of his seat and hurled a series of expletives.
It was reported that Singh, 52, of Lot 40 Parika Outfall, was stabbed to his abdomen and shot to his head and hip.
Media reports at the time stated that Singh was on his mobile phone when he was attacked. In an attempt to raise the alarm, the injured man ran towards a shop in the area, but the gunman gave chase and caught up with him. A scuffle ensued, and it was then that the gunman shot Singh.
Reports are as the businessman fell, the gunman relieved him of two gold chains and escaped. Singh was rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, West Coast Demerara (WCD), where he was pronounced dead. (G1)