26-year-old Kamal Matthews called ‘Son’ of Mibicuri, Black Bush Polder on the Corentyne walked out of the New Amsterdam High Court a free man after he was found not guilty of murder earlier today.
Matthews was accused of murdering Lieutenant attached to the Guyana Defence Force, Mark Bagot of Phillipi on the Corentyne on December 30, 2018, at a shop where they were consuming alcohol.
When the matter was heard in the New Amsterdam High Court before judge Simone Morris Ramlall, the accused who was represented by attorney at law Sanjeev Datadin, maintained that the deceased was the aggressor and that he was acting in self defence.
During the hearing, the court heard that the accused and the deceased were among several other persons who were at a shop in the Philippi area drinking beers. The court heard that while at the shop, Bagot was calling for drinks on Matthews's bill. Matthews made it clear that he was not going to pay for the items and Bagot became annoyed and began pelting bottles at Matthews.
This detail was corroborated by several witnesses who gave evidence into the matter.
Further, Matthews recalled that the deceased broke a bottle and advanced toward him when a scuffle ensued. The accused then ran out of the shop and later heard that Bagot received a stab wound.
At the conclusion of the hearing today, the 12 member jury returned and unanimously found Matthews not guilty of murder after which they also had to decide whether he was guilty of manslaughter but was also found not guilty with a 10 to 2.
Relatives of the lieutenant expressed disappointment at the ruling. They had initially indicated that Bagot who was stabbed to the chest was injured while attempting to stop a fight between two men who were imbibing at a shop in the village.
He was rushed to the Port Mourant Public Hospital before being transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital where he died while receiving treatment.