Soldier charged with killing wife for psychiatric evaluation

Orwain Sandy

Captain Orwain Sandy, who was yesterday charged with the murder of his common-law wife Reona Payne, is due to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Georgetown magistrate Judy Latchman yesterday ordered that Sandy, who was the personal assistant of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief-of-Staff, undergo the evaluation at the request of his attorney, James Bond.

The charge read to the man stated that on March 31st, 2018, at First Street, Alexander Village, he murdered Payne.

Sandy’s arraignment saw heightened security at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts complex, where family members of both the accused and the deceased also gathered.

Sandy, 36, of 130 Section ‘C’ Grove, East Bank Demerara, whose hands and feet were both shackled, immediately burst into tears as he was escorted from the court lock-ups.

In the courtroom of Magistrate Latchman, tears continued to flow down his face as he stood in the prisoners’ dock, with his head bent and shoulders hunched.

As the time drew closer for the charge to be read, a lull fell over the courtroom.

Dead: Reona Payne

When asked by Magistrate Latchman what his name was, Sandy, who was still in a fit of tears, shook and was barely able to make his name audible.

Bond, the attorney for the accused, told the court that his client, a father of three, had an unblemished record prior to the charge.

He then made an application for Sandy to be examined by a psychiatrist, while noting that for the past two years the man had been consulting with various psychiatrists. Bond added that they would have already spoken to a doctor at the Georgetown Public Hospital and that the defence would be flying in their own psychiatrist. The examination, Bond said, is critical to Sandy’s case and also to his well-being, while adding that he would hate for any mishap to occur while his client is in custody.

The attorney’s application was subsequently granted by Magistrate Latchman.

After Police Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt noted that the case file was incomplete, Sandy was remanded to prison until April 24th, when the case is to be called for a report.

After being escorted from the courtroom, Sandy was taken to a prison vehicle, as family members waved him farewell and officers stood guard.

He was then whisked away by a police escort, taking with him the extra police detail.

Sandy was arrested after he turned himself over to the police following the fatal shooting.

After shooting a fleeing Payne some 14 times, killing her instantly, Sandy reportedly drove himself to the Ruimveldt Police Station and informed the police there of what transpired.

He also handed over the suspected murder weapon.

Although both Sandy and Payne were married to other people, they were living together for about five years.

In a statement in the aftermath of the shooting, the GDF had confirmed that Sandy was immediately interdicted from duties and announced that an inquiry had been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.

“The Force is truly saddened by this occurrence and would want to reassure the general populace that this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force,” the statement had noted.

It added that the Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, had ordered the Inspector General of the GDF to conduct a board of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

This newspaper was told by friends of the couple that they had been experiencing problems. Sandy has claimed that Payne was involved in a relationship with another rank of the GDF.

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