In one of the most emotional court hearings for the year, family members and friends of slain Rubis Executive, Jason Cort, flocked the courtroom of Magistrate Ann McLennon to witness the arraignment of their
relative’s alleged killers.
Hoping that the matter would have been called during the morning session, the relatives sat throughout several other court matters anxiously awaiting the arrival of the individuals they deemed as Cort’s “murderers”.
As they fretfully awaited the hearing, their eyes were glued to the door of the prisoners’ holding cell, in anticipation of the arrival of the accused.
The doors opened on numerous occasions but none of the accused was brought in. The matter was called during the afternoon session.
As the three defendants arrived handcuffed and shackled in the courtroom, Cort’s family members stared at them with fury in their eyes. Some shook their heads, while others tried desperately to hold back tears.
The men sat in the prisoners’ dock. The accused, Clifton Gibson, 30; Linton Eastman, 23; and Stancey Rodney, 27; of Perry Street, Tucville stood promptly when their names were called.
As Magistrate McLennon read the charge, the relatives appeared to be listening keenly. However, as soon as the Magistrate called the dead man’s name, some of relatives began weeping uncontrollably.
The charge alleged that on June 7, last, at Meadow Brook Gardens, they murdered Cort during the course of a robbery.
They were not required to plead to the charge and were remanded to prison until July 17.
During the brief appearance Rodney’s Attorney, Peter Hugh, informed the court that his client has no pending or previous matters. The other two accused were unrepresented.
Police Prosecutor, Corporal Bharrat Mangru, told the court that statements in the matter are not completed.
Still overwhelmed with grief, Cort’s relatives exited the courtroom and began expressing their anguish. They hurried down the stairway through a small passageway leading to the entrance to the court.
As Cort’s alleged killers were being escorted to the court lock-up the police barred his family and friends from walking behind them.
But this did not stop shouts of “Murderers, murderers” and other remarks at the men.
Police at the court, however, intervened and asked that they exit the compound quietly. A woman, who appeared to be one of Cort’s relatives, remained. She stood on the stairs and looked at the murder accused, who returned the look through the lock-up bars.
“You know what you did to our family. You killed him, you killed him,” she yelled.
She broke down in tears and had to be consoled by family members and friends.
Once again the group was asked to leave the compound by officers at the court. Many of them questioned why they were not being allowed to voice their concerns.
They subsequently assembled themselves outside the court and continued their tirade.
Relatives of the accused were also bombarded with discourteous remarks from Cort’s family and friends. The same woman that had to be consoled, climbed onto the court fence, pointed at one of the defendant’s relatives and asked her, “How can you live with yourself”.
She even opined that Guyana should reinforce the death penalty.
A person from the gathering shouted “Yuh shoulda abort yuh child,” at one of the defendant’s mother.
Cort’s grief-stricken relatives attracted the attention of many bystanders and motorists, who were in the vicinity of the court.
Cort, a 27 year-old, accounts executive, was gunned down in front of his Jamoon Drive, Meadow Brook Gardens home by gun toting bandits, shortly after he had arrived home with his fiancée, Shauna Garraway.
He was shot to the chest and died subsequently at the Balwant Singh Hospital.
It was reported that the bandits took Cort’s licenced firearm, cell phone, gold band, chain and ring and an X Box console.
According to reports, the couple, who have a two-year-old son, had just come from a Kingston location, and were preparing to head to another venue on East Bank Demerara when the attack occurred.
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