Man gets life imprisonment for killing unarmed police corporal

Delon Abrams

Delon Abrams called `Roachie’ was yesterday sentenced to serve a life sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the 2014 shooting death of Police Corporal Seburn Elias.

 The sentence was handed down yesterday by Justice Sandil Kissoon who accepted Abram’s decision to plead guilty to the less count of manslaughter.

According to the particulars of the case presented by State Counsel Abigale Gibbs, Elias died after being shot twice by Abrams on January 6, 2014 while executing his duties as a member of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

Seburn Elias

She noted that on the day in question, police had rescued Abrams from a beating at the hands of Sophia residents and he was taken to the Turkeyen Police Station. However, due to the severity of the injuries sustained as a result of the beating, she said Abrams was taken to the Turkeyen Health Centre and subsequently to the Georgetown Public Hospital for treatment.

The court heard that at the hospital Abrams asked an officer to use the washroom. He was released from the handcuffs and allowed to do so. Shortly after his return, he asked to use the washroom a second time and was again allowed to do so.

 However, it was during his return on the second occasion that Abrams managed to relieve a police officer of his service weapon and make good his escape.

Gibbs told the court that other police officers arrived and a search was commissioned. Elias would have been among those who ventured to a yard in Fourth Street, Alberttown, where Abrams was said to have been hiding.  The now deceased officer was said to have entered the yard unarmed and after attempting to approach Abrams, was shot twice with the gun that had been stolen from the other officer. It was also noted that Abrams was the only person armed when Elias approached him.

 However, when Abrams was asked if he accepted the facts presented by the prosecutor,  he said he only fired one shot but was reminded by Justice Kissoon that the ballistics report would have concluded that both bullets came from the gun he had taken from the officer at the hospital.

Meanwhile, attorney Maxwell McKay in mitigation asked the court to consider that Abrams, 29, had been remorseful and that he did not waste the Court’s time by going ahead with a trial.

However, Gibbs in her address asked that the court consider that Elias died while fulfilling his mandate to serve and protect the people of Guyana and had been a serving member of the force for 24 years before his death.

She also reminded the court that Elias was not armed at the time, which she said, shows that he had no intention of harming the accused and that the GPF had been a saving grace for Abrams who at the time of his earlier encounter with the police was being beaten by residents of Sophia for an alleged crime.

Justice Kissoon in delivering the sentence said the court could not turn a blind eye to the circumstances that led to Elias’s death.

He went on to say that though he would have examined all the evidence presented by the prosecutor, he could not find any mitigating factors, as such, Justice Kissoon handed him a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Abrams remained expressionless as he exited the courtroom in shackles.

Stabroek News had reported that Elias was shot twice—in the chest just below the left breast and in the left side of his abdomen.

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