The two men accused of the 2016 New Year’s Day murder of 22-year-old Dewaun Anthony Baksh, formerly of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), were on Tuesday acquitted of the crime by a jury.
Rocky Lallu and Somar Shako were on trial before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow at the Demerara High Court. It was alleged that on January 1, 2016, at Greenwich Park, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), they murdered Baksh.
Following two hours of deliberations, the jury found the duo not guilty of the capital offence. They were also found unanimously not guilty on the lesser count of manslaughter.
Lallu was represented by Attorney-at-Law Ravindra Mohabir, while Shako was represented by Attorneys-at-law Konyo Sandiford, Narissa Leander, and Sophia Findlay. State Counsels Latifah Elliott and Marisa Edwards presented the prosecution's case.
“You are both very young men. You should see today as a blessing... as a new opportunity for you to make much of your life. Be remembered for the men that you turn out to be after leaving prison,” the trial Judge said.
Reports are that on January 1, 2016, at Greenwich Park, EBE, at about 21:30h, Baksh was picked up and rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The young man, who had returned to Guyana after five years to celebrate Christmas with his family, left home in the company of two of his brothers to celebrate the New Year.
They reportedly left home at about 17:40h to visit Bushy Park, Parika, but subsequently went to Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara (WCD), and then to a popular shop in Greenwich Park.
However, while there, Rafeek Baksh, the youngest of the three brothers, recognised a man who reportedly had a relationship with his sister some years ago. The man was with a group of men.
Rafeek reportedly approached and asked the man if he remembered him, to which the man answered “no.” One of the men from the group misinterpreted what was asked and proceeded to use abusive language toward Rafeek.
Dewaun went to his brother's rescue, and as they were about to walk away, they were attacked by a group of men with glass bottles. One of the men broke a glass bottle and stabbed Dewaun about his body during the ordeal. Dhanraj Goberdhan and Abdool Hussain were also charged with the crime.