Woman acquitted in backyard murder trial

Jennifer Young, who was accused of murdering a man in her backyard, was yesterday freed after a 12-member jury found her not guilty of the charge.

The jury returned the verdict after a deliberation of two hours and Young left the courtroom of Justice Winston Patterson, who presided over the trial, a free woman.

Young, also known as Jennifer Loncke, was accused of murdering Edward Williams, a man who she had employed to complete some construction work on a home she had recently bought.

Williams’ body was discovered the following day by police with multiple chop wounds, buried in the woman’s backyard beneath tyres.

Five witnesses, comprising three police officers, Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh and the cousin of the accused, testified in the matter and had revealed that the accused was keeping some documents for Williams and on the day in question the two were heard having a heated argument.

However, the testimony throughout the trial suggested that witnesses only heard what was thought to be the voice of the accused but no one saw Young committing the act.

On the night of the incident, three cutlasses covered in blood were discovered by the police in Young’s yard while the body of the deceased was found the following day when police conducted further investigations.

Defence Counsel Nigel Hughes had told the court that evidence presented against his client was fabricated by one of the witnesses due to family-related rivalry.

Young, in an unsworn statement from the dock, said that she was a registered nurse’s assistant in New York City, U.S.A., and at the time of the incident, was on vacation in Guyana with her four children.

She told the court that she had bought a Coverden, East Bank Demerara property from her cousin and employed Williams to do some construction work.

She told the court that an argument ensued between the two after Williams inquired if there were any way she could have helped him to get to New York and she told him there was none.

Later that evening, the woman said she had a frightening experience when she heard the breaking of glass and someone scaling her fence. She remained in the house with her children throughout the ordeal, she said.

Forty-five minutes later, she recalled, when the place went silent, she peeked outside and saw a number of persons gathered on the road and in nearby yards.

Young said police arrived on the scene and walked through her home but nothing was found.

She added that she was advised by the police to go to the station for safety.

Dr. Singh, in giving his evidence, told the court that the multiple chop wounds the deceased suffered could have only been caused by a very sharp cutlass or chopper.

Representing the State was Prosecutor Teshana James-Lake.

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