Porter sentenced to 20 years over fatal Itaballi stabbing

A porter was sentenced to 20 years in jail on Thursday after he was found guilty of murder.

Arthur Taylor was found guilty at the High Court at Suddie of the murder of Wayne Johnson by a majority verdict of ten to two. He was subsequently sentenced by trial judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

It had been alleged that on August 2nd, 2014, Taylor stabbed Johnson with a knife to the left side of his chest, thereby penetrating his heart.

Taylor, however, maintains that Johnson fell on a broken bottle and died as a result of the injuries he sustained.  

Arthur Taylor

In his testimony, Taylor said an argument had ensued between him and Johnson on the Itaballi landing over Taylor’s wife. Taylor told the court that there was a scuffle and that he acted in self-defence as Johnson was firing chops at him with a cutlass.

According to him, the cutlass eventually fell into the water, leaving Johnson unarmed. He said Johnson rushed towards him and he swung him on his stomach. The two men later took the fight into the water, where Johnson placed Taylor in a choke hold. The defendant said the fight ended when Chris Gibbs pulled the deceased off of him in the water.

Gibbs, who appeared as a witness, said he heard a splash at the landing. “So, I took my torch light and I went out to see what was going on. When I went out, I saw Wayne Johnson on top of Arthur in a choke lock. I holler at them multiple times and told them to stop. The water was becoming reddish, so when the Taylor pushed off Wayne, I rushed him to my boat to get medical attention,” he said.

The police, who were alerted, later escorted Johnson to the Bartica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by a doctor on duty at the Bartica Hospital. He sustained a single stab wound to the left side of the chest, about 11 cm in depth, which was given as the cause of his death.

On the following day, the police at Bartica retrieved a brown kitchen knife, which Taylor claimed as his after noting that it had a missing rivet. He, however, denied stabbing Johnson with the weapon.

The prosecutor argued that Johnson could by no means fall on a bottle and sustain the fatal injury when he had managed to place the accused in a choke hold during their fight. The prosecutor also noted that there is a slim probability that a bottle could make a single stab wound, with a depth of 11 cm.

 

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