Alvin Gounga now faces a retrial after a jury failed to arrive at a unanimous verdict on the charge that he murdered his father-in-law, whom he is alleged to have shot with an arrow and bow.
After deliberating for a little over three hours, the jury foreman informed the court of Justice Roxane George that the jurors had been unable to arrive at a unanimous verdict.
Asked by Justice George whether there was any assistance the court could have rendered by way of further directions, the foreman, who cagily consulted with the other 11 jurors, shook his head and in a barely audible tone told the judge no.
Justice George then informed the accused that he would now have to await a date for a new trial. Resultantly, he remains a remanded prisoner.
Gounga, called “Captain,” is accused of killing Desmond Henry on May 14, 2005, at Five Star Backdam, Port Kaituma, North West District by shooting him with an arrow and bow during an argument over stolen pieces of gold.
During the trial, police witness Detective Sergeant Emrick Winter had testified about taking a caution statement from the accused back in 2010, after he had been arrested and taken into police custody.
The contents of the caution statement, which was admitted into evidence, revealed that while Gounga had admitted to fatally shooting Henry with the arrow and bow, he claimed to have done it in self-defence.
In his explanation, Gounga had told Winter that on the day of the incident, he had confronted his reputed wife over an issue concerning stolen pieces of gold.
The accused went on to say that he attempted to walk away from the confrontation but Henry, his wife’s father, intervened and threatened to kill him.
The issue however did not end there and Gounga in his statement claimed that instead, as he turned to walk away, Henry threw a pitchfork at him. When this failed, the accused indicated in his statement that his father-in-law then picked up a nearby axe and attempted to chop him.
This, Gounga said, caused him to use his arrow and bow to shoot the man in “self-defence.”
The state’s case was presented by prosecutors Narissa Leander and Tuanna Hardy. Gounga, meanwhile, was represented by defence attorney Dexter Todd.