A Guyana-born police officer in New York was on Wednesday found guilty of second-degree murder for fatally gunning down his ex-fiancée back in 2007 in an incident described as the deadly end of the couple’s two-year tumultuous relationship.
According to a New York Post report, Harry Rupnarine, 39, was found guilty by a Queens Supreme Court jury of killing Guiatree Hardat, 22, on Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven on May 10, 2007.
Rupnarine, a NYPD transit officer, had taken the stand in his own defence last month claiming that he had accidentally killed Hardat with his 9 mm Glock service revolver while trying to shoot two knife-wielding thugs.
The young woman had only gone to the US two years before her demise after completing studies at Queen’s College in Guyana.
Rupnarine worked on the Brooklyn Transit Task Force after graduating from the Police Academy in July 2005.
Hardat’s friends and relatives at the time of the incident had said the relationship was rife with episodes of violence and jealousy.
The two Guyanese immigrants, the report said, met while Rupnarine was patrolling the Crescent Street subway station in Brooklyn, shortly after he got out of the academy.
Relatives had claimed that Rupnarine had tormented Hardat from the onset of their romance, calling her at all hours of the night to see where she was and keeping her out late against the wishes of her traditional family.
Witnesses told the police the couple had been walking in the neighborhood and appeared to be fighting over a cell phone.
They had just broken up, sources had said. Hardat was walking a few steps ahead of Rupnarine and, at one point, he was heard yelling, “Give me your SIM card, bitch,” sources had related.
Back in May 2007 the New York Daily News had reported that Rupnarine’s parents were dead and he found comfort in the words and love of his girlfriend’s mother and father.
They offered him advice, welcomed him to family gatherings and gave him their blessing when he bought a US$1,000 engagement ring and asked for their daughter’s hand in marriage. He had even called them ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’.
However, when Hardat put off setting a wedding date, his behaviour grew erratic. Rupnarine was enraged that she no longer loved him, police said.
“I offered him to let us be a guide to his life,” Hardat’s father, Sukhdeo Hardat, had told the Daily News.
“She didn’t deserve this,” he had said adding “She made me very proud. She was my baby. She would have always been my baby.
“They had ups and downs. “He’s very domineering. He always wanted his way. He was very dictatorial and that could tell you a lot.”
Sukhdeo Hardat had said he’ll always be haunted by the last 30 minutes of his daughter’s life. He had been talking to her on the phone when in the background he heard Rupnarine shouting.
“Go away!” she had screamed at her ex-fiance just after 7 pm that fateful day. “I hate you! I hate you!”
The phone then went dead.
After trying the phone several times with no answer, Hardat went looking for his daughter and came upon the scene of the crime where he saw Rupnarine in handcuffs and said his daughter’s body “in a pool of blood.”
She had been shot in the face.