Murder accused Kevin Garraway was yesterday acquitted after Justice Navindra Singh directed a 12-member jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty as the state did not meet the burden of proof for the charge.
The charge against Garraway, of Calendar Street, Albouystown, had stated that on June 3rd, 2016, at Plaisance, he murdered Orrette West.
Police had said that on the day in question, around 12.30 am, the suspect, who had a problem with the deceased’s girlfriend, walked up to him and asked if he [West] still wanted a problem with him [Garraway]. West then pushed Garraway away and a scuffle ensued between the two men and ended with the fatal stabbing. West was eventually rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
After the evidence of six witnesses at the High Court yesterday, prosecutor Teriq Mohammed told Justice Singh and the 12-member jury that there was one final witness but the prosecution was unable to have her present at court. He then proceeded to close the state’s case.
Justice Singh then highlighted to the prosecutor the fact that the only evidence against the accused was a caution statement, which pointed to a case of self-defence.
He then told the accused that there was no evidence that he was the aggressor and that legally the state had not met the burden of proof.
Justice Singh then directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.
Prior to being released from his shackles, Garraway was encouraged by Justice Singh to stay clear of such situations in future.
Relatives of the accused wept in elation as Garraway made his way out of the courtroom, with tears building in his eyes, a free man, after spending almost three years in jail.
Among those who testified yesterday was Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mahadeo Singh, who is currently stationed at the Brickdam Police and attached to Impact Base. He testified to being a witness to the caution statement that was given by the accused.
According to ASP Singh, he was present at Sparendaam Police Sta-tion, along with Sergeant Ross, when the accused was brought in by Constable Headley. The accused then sat at a table, in the presence of both officers, and was told that he, on June 3rd, 2016, murdered West. ASP Singh noted that Garraway was then cautioned by Sergeant Ross and replied, saying, “He knock me with a bottle and I juk he.” It was noted that Sergeant Ross then asked the accused if he wished to put into writing what he said, to which he responded yes. Garraway then elected Sergeant Ross to write his statement and, according to ASP Singh, Garraway signed and he signed as a witness.
The caution statement was tendered and marked as an exhibit.
The state’s case was presented by prosecutors Mohammed, Abigail Gibbs and Tuanna Hardy.
Garraway was represented by attorney Maxwell McKay.