After electing to give an unsworn statement to the court, Better Hope Squatting resident, Dellon Gordon, who is
charged for killing his girlfriend, Natasha Johnson, proclaimed his innocence of the charge.
“I did not kill Natasha Johnson. I am innocent of this charge,” the accused said to the judge and jury yesterday
Gordon is accused of setting his Better Hope, Squatting Area, East Coast Demerara home alight on July 4, 2011. According to reports, the incident took place during a verbal dispute between him and the girlfriend. The woman was injured in the process.
Johnson, a mother of three, was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, (GPHC) where she later succumbed to her injuries. Days later, her lover was charged with the offence. He is on trial at the Georgetown High Court, before Justice Navindra Singh and a mixed twelve-member jury.
Attorney-at-Law, Judith Gildharie-Mursalin is presenting the State’s case while Attorneys-at- Law, Dawn Holder-Alert and Raymond Alli are representing the accused.
During the trial yesterday, three witnesses were called upon to give evidence; the State Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh, Officer of the Guyana Fire Service, Gregory Wickham, and neighbour to the deceased Melissa Fraser.
Johnson, according to the Post Mortem, suffered from a dislocated nasogastric tube, brain haemorrhage and congested kidneys with heavy lungs that oozed a bloody liquid. These injuries led to Johnson suffering from Adult Distress Respiratory Syndrome (ADRS) which was brought on as a result of trauma from the burns.
While under cross examination, the State Pathologist said that even though Johnson did initially survive the burns, the probability of her recovering from those injuries was unlikely. He explained that burns are “tricky to treat” as predicting the short term effects like infections, or long terms effects like muscle contractions, is difficult to determine. He also stated that it would be difficult to determine whether an accelerant like gasoline was used to inflict Johnson’s burns, without chemical testing which is not part of his post mortem examination.
In her cross examination, Fraser recalled hearing a loud explosion before heading out to the scene of the fire. After rushing to the scene the woman said that her attention was focused on Johnson, and that someone threw a towel on the victim. Johnson, according to Fraser, was then rushed to the hospital with two men in a red car; Gordon was one of them.
When questioned about her relationship with the accused Fraser replied, “I never get along with him, he was always an upstart”. The woman added, “Delon never want Natasha to talk to anybody and when she did he would beat her.”
Wickham said that in his investigations of the crime scene he concluded that the fire originated in the bedroom of the home. He also noted that there was a strong odour of kerosene, which indicated the use of an accelerant at the fire.
The fireman stated that the likely cause for the loud noise could have come from a kerosene stove, or aerosol can, being thrown on the ground and then set on fire by another party. He noted too that based on his investigations the fire was caused as a result of a deliberate act.
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