Appeal Court overturns death sentences of duo convicted for Berbice River killing

The Guyana Court of Appeal yesterday overturned the murder convictions and death sentences of Elmo Benedict and Dave Banwarie for the 2008 killing of Rakesh Rajaram.

Setting aside the conviction and sentences, the appellate court, comprising Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory, instead imposed a manslaughter conviction and a 25-year sentence on each appellant, with deductions to be made for time served.

Prior to being sentenced in 2012, the men had been imprisoned in 2008 after the killing.

In handing down its unanimous ruling yesterday morning, the court said it found that the trial judge failed to adequately direct the jury on the presence of the defence of provocation, which was available to the appellants…..

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