The Court of Appeal today upheld the conviction and 20 years sentence imposed on Joshua Persaud and Raphael Morrison for the June 3, 2013 murder of 18-year-old Marlon Ramcharran.
Reports are that on the day in question, Morrison and Persaud were armed with a cutlass when they murdered Ramcharran, formerly of Lot 125 Tain Settlement.
Ramcharran had gone to purchase Chinese food at Lucky Star Restaurant for his mother, Geetawattie Ramgobin, called Pamela and his teenage sister.
Media reports are that he returned home but left, an hour later, to attend a wake at John’s, Port Mourant, but went instead to the ‘Dusk til Dawn’ where an argument arose between him and the two accused, during which he was fatally chopped to his neck and other parts of the body.
The wounded man was picked up from a pool of blood where he was motionless and taken to Port Mourant Hospital, Corentyne, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Morrison and Persaud were committed to stand trial in the High Court before Justice Diana Insanally and a mixed jury in the Berbice High Court.
However, on April 16, 2014, the duo was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years behind bars by Justice Insanally.
Not long after their conviction and sentence, the duo moved to the Appeal Court, asking to set aside and/ or reverse the High Court’s decision.
In their appeal, the convicted killers said that if their conviction was affirmed, the court should order their immediate release from prison, given that it is almost six years after it was filed and eight years after they were charged.
Attorney-at-Law Kim Kyte-Thomas represented Morrison while Attorney-at-Law Murseline Bacchus appeared for Persaud.
When the matter was called this morning before Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, she rejected the convicts’ arguments concerning summing up of evidence by the Judge.
While acknowledging the grounds that everyone is entitled to a fair trial within a reasonable time, the Chancellor said that the attorneys for the appellants failed to proffer arguments to suggest that the delay was an abuse of the court’s process.
Justice Cummings-Edwards explained that the delay in hearing is as a result of the backlog of cases that the judiciary is currently facing.
In fact, the Chancellor disagreed with the convicts that the 20-year-old sentence was manifestly excessive.
To this end, the Appeal Court reduced their sentence to reflect the time they have already spent in pre-trial custody. Justice Cummings-Edwards ordered that the sentence take effect from the date of their conviction.