Taxi driver cleared of $3M robbery, shooting outside of Finance Ministry

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams, the taxi driver who was charged with shooting and robbing a BK International Supervisor outside of the Ministry of Finance in 2016, was acquitted yesterday after a city court found that the police failed to prove their case against him.

The charge against Adams, of Lot 9 Dennis Street, Sophia, alleges that on December 5th, 2016, at Urquhart Street, in the company of others and armed with guns, he robbed John Bryan of $3 million and feloniously wounded him.

Adams, who was represented by attorney Dexter Todd, was on trial before Magistrate Judy Latchman.

When the trial resumed yesterday, Todd made closing arguments, in which he urged that the charge against his client be dismissed due to lack of evidence. The attorney noted that his client denied making a statement to police and added that outside of the statement the prosecution was only able to establish that there was a robbery.

Todd went on to state that he believes that the police did a poor job with their investigation and he charged that they did not seek to clarify issues that were raised in the alleged statement simply because they were never said.

In response to the attorney’s submission, police prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves urged the court to find the defendant guilty of the crime, while noting that none of the prosecution’s witnesses were discredited.

The prosecutor relied heavily on the alleged oral statement made by the defendant, which was found to have been made freely and voluntarily by the court. Gonsalves noted that although the defendant did not sign to the oral statement and there was no recording of it, it did not affect the voluntary nature of the statement.

Gonsalves went on to state that the defendant gave sworn evidence where he noted that he could not remember what he did on the day in question but knew he didn’t rob anybody.

Subsequently, Magistrate Latchman, in her ruling, told the court that she found it strange that the defendant gave an oral statement five days after his arrest but remained silent when he was first arrested. She noted that she was uncertain if the defendant made the oral statement and as a result found him not guilty of the crimes.

The charges against Adams were subsequently dismissed. He remains before the court on an attempted murder charge.

The Guyana Police Force, in a press release on the attack, had said Bryan was walking on Urquhart Street, heading in a western direction, when two bandits, one of whom was armed with a handgun, exited a white Toyota Premio and approached him. Bryan, the police said, became afraid and ran to the Ministry of Finance’s gate, where he threw a haversack, which was reported to contain $3 million in cash, into the compound. “The suspects went into the compound, collected the bag and were exiting when the victim tried retrieving same and in the process, the armed suspect discharged his firearm in his direction, hitting him to his right thigh,” the release said.

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