Search for body resumes today
He was not suicidal – relatives
Relatives of 31-year-old Godwin Maxwell, who disappeared after plunging into the Mahaicony River on Monday, are adamant that he was not suicidal. They believe that Maxwell made the move out of frustration after he was placed on bail.
Speaking with this newspaper yesterday, the man’s uncle Wilbert Innis said that it was Maxwell’s first brush with the law and he was apparently fearful of spending time at Camp Street while his bail was being secured.
Maxwell was granted bail in the sum of $45,000.
“It is his first experience with the law,” Innis told this newspaper.
Relatives are almost convinced that after Maxwell jumped into the river, he was shot by a rank who had pursued him. But police sources in the district are refuting this claim. A police source on the East Coast of Demerara disclosed that Maxwell had not spent more than five minutes in the station after he was brought from the court, before he bolted.
The source explained that the rank, who had pursued Maxwell, did not open fire in his direction but instead fired a warning shot into the air in an effort to deter the escapee.
“Although the rank had the option of shooting him as he was making good his escape, he did not. The man did not pose a threat,” the source said.
The Guyana Police Force had recently issued a series of standard operating procedures outlining when and when not to fire. However, the list does not include a scenario regarding an escaping prisoner.
Police in a press release stated that its Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, Maxwell’s uncle said that family members were in the process of gathering cash to secure the bail which he described as extravagant.
“It’s not that he committed suicide, he was just trying to get away. He was fearful of going to Camp Street. I believe that he became frustrated because time was running out,” Wilbert Innis told Kaieteur News yesterday.
He said that he had approached the magistrate with a view to having the bail reduced.
“The Magistrate was giving me an attentive ear and that was when we heard that a man jump overboard,” Innis explained.
Maxwell, a sports promoter of Calcutta, Mahaicony, was before the court on Monday, on charges of failing to file tax returns relating to his promotions.
According to his uncle, Maxwell was ignorant of this obligation until officials of the GRA contacted him. James said that the GRA had promised to send its representatives to monitor the shows that Maxwell organized, but they never did.
“He didn’t know what was going on, he didn’t know anything. He didn’t know that he had to complete forms and send into GRA,” James explained.
He said that about two weeks ago, Maxwell received a summons from the GRA. Maxwell and James immediately travelled to the city and met with GRA officials with a view to negotiating an amicable settlement.
“They gave us some forms to full up, they tell us what and what to do. He was in the process of doing that, but three days ago they told him he had to attend court,” James told this newspaper.
Although relatives are quietly hopeful that he managed to make it to shore, they will still resume the search in the Mahaicony River today.