A murder accused prisoner was shot and killed during a reported attempt to escape from the Timehri Prison yesterday afternoon.
Acting Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels confirmed that Winston Hinds, called “Town Man,” 26, of Lot 28 Blue-berry Hill, Wismar, Linden, was fatally shot after ignoring requests by prison officers for him to halt during an escape bid.
Hinds was shot once to his abdomen and was taken to the Diamond Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Stabroek News was told that the prisoner’s alleged attempt to escape followed a brawl among inmates in the prison dormitory around 5pm yesterday. As a result, prison officers intervened to break up the fight when Hinds, who was allegedly armed with an improvised weapon like those inmates involved in the brawl, ran out into the yard and tried to escape.
In a statement issued last evening, the Department of Public Information (DPI) said Hinds had fled into the prison yard in an apparent bid to escape.
“Clear and repeated orders were issued for Hinds to desist but he refused in every instance and continued running. Prison officers were left with no option than to curtail his escape bid,” it explained.
“This necessitated the use of live rounds as a last resort after every other option had failed. Hinds was struck on the body by a single round and was immediately taken to the East Bank Demerara Hospital Complex at Diamond where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” it added.
Hinds’ next of kin was immediately informed and a police investigation has been launched. Up to late last evening, detectives were at the scene conducting investigations.
The DPI statement said the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) deeply regrets the loss of life and extended deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Hinds. “The GPS will also reiterate its internal calls to all prisoners to conduct themselves responsibly, to resist any temptation to escape from lawful custody, to obey the instructions of prison officers at all times and to serve their sentences as mandated by the courts until such time as they are eligible for release,” it added.
Security at all prison facilities across the country has come under close scrutiny after last month’s fire at the Camp Street Prison, from where six inmates also escaped. On Thursday, Samuels had reported the discovery of weapons, phones and drugs, among other contraband, at the Timehri Prison.
In January last year, Hinds was charged with the murder of Richard Remington, which was committed between February 9th and February 12th, 2015, at Cholmondeley Hill, Wismar, Linden.
The decomposing remains of Remington were found in a clump of bushes along a track in the vicinity of Matthew’s Lane in the Cholmondeley Hill area on February 12th, 2015. He had been shot three times, including once to the head. His relatives had said that he had left his home three days before his body was discovered and opined that he might have been lured into the bushy spot by someone he knew.
Two other suspects, Owen Belfield, 27, of Lot 59 Victory Valley, Linden and recently recaptured prison escapee Stafrei Alexander were also charged with the crime. Hinds was also previously charged with five counts of armed robbery.