Witness recounts scuffle with Den Amstel murder accused

Ryan Lewis, while being cross-examined by defence counsel Nigel Hughes, said that murder accused Dwayne Jordan was bored  while the two were rolling down a flight of stairs during a scuffle at a Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara home.

Jordan has been charged with the murder of his wife, Claudine Rampersaud. The trial continued yesterday before Justice Roxane George.

Hughes asked the witness if he remembered holding his daughter while kicking open the door and he said he did. The defence counsel then reminded the witness that he had failed to share this information with the Magistrate during the preliminary inquiry at the Leonora Magistrates’ Court in June 2009.

Dwayne Jordan

“I can’t remember if I told them that,” Lewis said.

Lewis in his previous testimony said that he was walking with his reputed wife Shellon Payne and each of them was carrying a child.

Hughes read part of Lewis’ 2009 testimony, which indicated that he “knocked down the door” but had no claim of having the children.

Lewis further told the court that none of the children was injured during the attack, agreeing that as the door flung open, the hatchet came out and hit Payne, missing the child that was lying on her shoulder. He said that everything happened so fast that he did not see his wife getting chopped and later found out from her the following day while he recovered at the hospital.

He said he did not see the first chop he sustained, which was to the left side of his head. He only realized afterward, he said. He explained that as he saw a hand coming again with the hatchet, he held the hand. At the time, he added, he was in absolute shock, panicked and scared

Claudine Rampersaud

Lewis said that while focusing on blocking the hatchet, he was not aware that there was a knife in Jordan’s other hand and so in the process, he grabbed the hand with the hatchet and turned to relieve him of the weapon. In doing so, Lewis said, he was now backing the accused and was subsequently stabbed twice to his back.

He said he then swung around in an attempt to hold both Jordan’s hands, twisting him, which caused both of them to tumble down the stairs.

He said after reaching the bottom of the staircase, he could not remember who was on top, while adding that his memory was a little hazy.

He recalled continuing the fight downstairs, as they both were on the ground. “I’m not sure how I manage to roll him over, but before I left the yard I was on top of him,” Lewis told the court.

Lewis, a cane harvester, had initially said that he “bore” the murder accused, but when asked by Hughes when he realized that Jordan was wounded, he said he figured from the way they rolled, he got “bore.”

The defence counsel subsequently suggested to the witness that it was after waking up in the hospital and “talk story” that he figured Jordan was wounded, to which the witness responded in the affirmative.

Lewis also admitted that the sequence of the fight was from what was discussed in the hospital and he noted that after he had regained consciousness, he discussed the account with his reputed wife and a few of his friends. However, the witness added that at the time, he was in “serious pain” and so he was not putting together the events of the night.

When asked by Hughes if he (Lewis) had any recollection of cutting anyone on their foot or ankle, the witness said no.

The defence counsel further asked Lewis about the deceased Rampersaud, who was his sister-in-law. The witness said that up to the time she died, Rampersaud and Jordan were living together and had not been separated.

The trial was adjourned and will continue today when Lewis will be further cross-examined by Hughes.

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