Feb 01, 2015 News
Shawn Thom, one the men accused of killing Mahaica farmer Lakhram Bishundial, was freed on Friday after Justice James Bovell-Drakes upheld a no case submission by his lawyer Trenton Lake.
Thom was jointly charged for the murder with Orin David called ‘Plait Hair’ or ‘Malik.’
The incident allegedly took place on August 20, 2010 at De Hoop Mahaica, East Coast Demerara.
Bishundial, called Mohan was shot at Hope Turn, East Coast Demerara, as he was on his way to a nearby Ashram to make preparations for his younger brother’s wedding.
According to reports, the 35-year-old rice farmer was shot during a robbery. His brother, Totaram Bishundial, left his home for Georgetown with his cousin to do some shopping for the wedding. He went to the bank and withdrew $500,000.
On his journey home, Totaram, who was driving a pick-up truck stopped at Hope Turn, East Coast Demerara when he saw his brother approaching from the opposite direction.
Lakhram was driving a lorry and they stopped to chat for a few minutes. As the brothers were engaged in a conversation, a lone gunman approached Totaram from the side of the lorry and demanded the bag of money, threatening to shoot him. Lakhram reportedly spoke up and was shot instead.
Thom and David were facing a retrial before Justice Bovell-Drakes and a mixed 12- member jury in the High Court in Georgetown after their last trial which was conducted before Justice Franklyn Holder ended in a hung jury.
On Friday, Thom was set free but his co-accused was however called upon to lead his defence.
In his defence, David told the court that he was in Region Ten at the time of the alleged incident.
He claimed that he had never been to the East Coast of Demerara; the first time he was there was when the police took him.
David also told the court that he went to a Mavado show later that evening.
Earlier in the trial, witnesses Chaman Singh and Davenand Persaud were called upon to give evidence in the trial by State Prosecutors, Natasha Backer and Narissa Leander.
In his testimony, the witness, Davenand Persaud, told the court that he had lived next door to the Bishundials of De Hoop, Mahaica; he was in the truck driven by Lakhram Bishundial on the day that he was shot.
Persaud said that he, Lakhram and a group of men were heading to the Ashram to collect chairs. The witness recalled that Lakhram stopped at “Hope turn,” to talk to his brother.
The witness recalled that the shooting occurred while the two brothers were engaged in a conversation. Persaud said that he was seated next to Lakhram but admitted he did not see who had the gun.
He was at the time, responding to questions posed by Attorneys representing the two accused. The witness said that he helped to transport the injured man to the hospital. Further Persaud stated that on the way to the hospital, Totaram stopped at the Victoria Gas Station.
Persaud said that while at the gas station, Totaram attempted to pin a man to a nearby fence with his vehicle, but that man escaped.
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