Youths charged over Freeman St murder

-accused claims police brutality

Two youth were yesterday charged with the murder of Fazal Shaheed, who was fatally shot during a robbery at a Freeman Street residence just over a week ago.

Shawn De Santos, 19, and Stephon Howard, 18, who both reside in Freeman Street, were read a murder charge by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan. Howard, however, told the court that police beat him to implicate De Santos in the crime, although he said he did not even know his co-accused.

The charge stated that on September 24, at Lot 194 Freeman Street, De Santos and Howard murdered Abdul Fazal Shaheed, during the furtherance of a robbery.

They were not required to enter a plea to the indictable charge.

Fazal Shaheed

The court heard that the case file is incomplete and that it was sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.

Howard, when granted permission, told the court that he was beaten by the police and forced to say that De Santos was a part of the robbery.

Shawn De Santos

The accused then showed the court bruises on both of his hands, where he alleges officers whipped him. He said too that he was also cuffed in his stomach several times. He also said he did not know De Santos and that they were not friends.

Subsequently, the Chief Magistrate informed them that they were being remanded to prison and she adjourned the proceedings until October 19.

On Sunday, September 24, around 12.45 am, at Lot 194 Freeman Street, Fazal and his brothers were with family and friends preparing for a memorial service for their father, when bandits attacked.

Stephon Howard

The bandits, who escaped with jewellery, fatally shot Fazal, 58, a father of one, of 18 Albion, Corentyne, Berbice and wounded two of his brothers, Shalim, 53, a father of one of the USA, and Talim, 50, a father of three of Canada.

Fazal was shot several times in the abdomen.

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