Accused in murder of Berbice boy charged separately

Hilary Edwards

The two men who were arrested in connection with the killing of a 13-year-old East Bank Berbice student, were yesterday charged separately for the lad’s murder when they appeared at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court.

The two men, Hilary Edwards, 29, of Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, and Obedeih Christopher, also known as “Nicholas”, 19, of Skeldon, Corentyne and Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore yesterday midday.

Magistrate Moore read the charge to Christopher which stated that it is alleged that between Sunday 17, September and Saturday 23, September, he murdered Leonard Archibald.

Christopher is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Mursaline Bacchus, however, yesterday Attorney-at-Law Arun Gossai stood in, on Bacchus’ behalf.

Obedeih Christopher
Leonard Archibald

The magistrate then read the charge to an unrepresented Edwards, which also stated that between Sunday 17, September and Saturday 23, September, he murdered Leonard Archibald.

The men were not required to plead to the indictable charge and were remanded to prison until their next court date, 8th December.

Christopher during the court proceedings kept wiping his eyes, while Edwards stood in the dock with a blank look on his face.

When the men were being escorted out of court, Christopher began shouting that he was innocent, and accused the police and Edwards of “setting [him] up.”

The father of the murdered teen, Walter Archibald who was also present in court, stood at a  distance and looked on during Christopher’s screams. When Stabroek News spoke with the grieving father, he said that his heart is somewhat relieved to see the men who allegedly murdered his young son, placed before the courts and charged.

While Christopher screamed his innocence in the background, Archibald said, “He [Christopher] would have said some things that he heard screams, why didn’t he do anything? Both have to answer for this. I’m not leaving it like this. Me procedure is he said he heard things, he supposed to notify early.”

According to Archibald, he believes that Christopher could have saved his son had he spoken out earlier.

While no relatives showed up for Edwards, Christopher’s parents were present at court, arguing with persons about their son’s innocence.

On September 17, Leonard Archibald of Lot 11 Brothers Village, East Bank Berbice disappeared after he left home to pick up two of his sisters from a birthday party in a nearby village. He was last seen riding a bicycle on the Sisters Village Public Road. After a police report was filed, investigators placed two men from Sisters Village in custody. The prime suspect, Edwards and his friend, Christopher, at whose house Edwards would usually hang out at, and which is located four houses away from the Sisters Police Station.

On Friday last during a search, the missing teen’s bicycle was discovered in the Berbice River behind Christopher’s house. It was later on Friday afternoon that investigators allegedly elicited a confession from one of the accused. Police were told that Edwards allegedly kidnapped the teen and raped him, after which he dumped his unconscious body behind Christopher’s house, into the Berbice River. After the alleged confession became public knowledge, relatives of the boy and residents of the East Bank Berbice area were determined to recover the child’s body.

It was during the last search on Saturday afternoon that Archibald’s decomposed body was found on a mudflat located at the back of Kortberaad Village, on the Berbice River, some three miles from Brothers Village, East Bank Berbice, where the teen lived.

On Monday, an autopsy was performed on Archibald’s decomposed body, however, the results were inconclusive.

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