Two men who hail from Sand Hills on the Berbice River are on trial for
murder. The men, Dave Banwari, 32, and Elmo Benedict, 30, are on trial in the Berbice High Court before Justice James Bovell-Drakes and a mixed jury for the murder of Rakesh Rajaram which allegedly occurred on March 1, 2008 at Sand Hills, Berbice River.
The case which commenced on Thursday April 5, last, has so far seen a number of witnesses testifying including retired detective sergeant Charles Brown, detective corporals Lawrence Thomas, Dharmendra Inderpaul and crime scene detective Corporal Curtis Cort.
The officers in their various submissions gave details of their involvement in the case. During the evidence on Wednesday a caution statement purportedly made by Elmo Benedict was admitted into evidence. A cutlass purportedly used during the commission of the crime and photographs allegedly taken were also presented. The men were led in their presentations by Prosecutor Attorney at Law Rhondel Weever.
Reports had revealed that the deceased had fled his Kortbraat home, East Bank of Berbice, following a default in his affiliation arrears.
He relocated to Sand Hills. He was employed as a coal miner. He sought refuge at the home of a known family in the area and after a while became involved with a teenage daughter of his host.
Rajaram’s involvement with the teenager angered her parents, since she was already involved with someone else and they ordered him to leave, which he did. However, he stayed in the area and constructed a shack not too far from his former host.
Some time later, it is understood that Rajaram, armed with an improvised shotgun, abducted the girl from her home and took her to a clump of bushes in the area.
It was also revealed that some time later, residents were alerted as to what transpired, and armed themselves and went in search of the now dead Rajaram. An altercation ensued and Rajaram was seriously injured resulting in his death.
The teenager was taken home, along with the improvised gun and two cartridges; which were handed over to the village captain who is also a Rural Sergeant.
The accused were subsequently arrested and charged. A preliminary inquiry was concluded in 2010 in the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s court, by Magistrate Omeyana Hamilton who found that a prima facie case was made out for the capital offence of Murder.
Attorney at Law Raymond Alli is representing Benedict while state appointed attorney Rabindranauth Singh is appearing for Banwari.
The matter is continuing.