The Court of Appeal is expected to rule soon in the case of Elmo Benedict and Dave Banwarie who were both sentenced to death for the March 03, 2008 murder of Rakesh Rajaram which occurred at Sandhills, Berbice River.

The two death row inmates were brought to court this morning when their Attorney-at-Law Mark Conway presented arguments. Appearing for the State was Attorney-at-Law Diana Kowlessar.

Conway essentially argued that the killing was not intentional, since his clients, after realizing that Rajaram was seriously injured, took him to the hospital. The lawyer further argued that the learned trial judge failed to ask the jury to consider the lesser offence manslaughter.

Banwarie and Benedict were 27 and 25 years of age, respectively, at the time of the murder. It was reported that Rajaram became involved with a teenage girl who had already been involved with another man.

This angered the young woman’s intended partner, who along with another armed themselves with cutlasses and chopped Rajaram. The injured man was pronounced dead on arrival at the New Amsterdam Hospital.  Investigations were carried out and the two men were arrested and charged.

An autopsy report recorded the cause of death as due to shock and haemorrhage, along with multiple cuts.

The duo were sentenced to death back in 2012 by Justice James Bovell-Drakes at the High Court in Berbice after the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts in respect to both of them.


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