Roger ‘Goat man’ Simon released on bail
Convicted Bartica massacre felon, Dennis Williams, called ‘Anaconda,’ was further sentenced to life imprisonment for five counts of manslaughter.
He was found guilty of the manslaughter charges Thursday night.
The additional sentence came hours after Williams received the death penalty on seven counts of murder.
Williams, called ‘Anaconda’ and his cousin, Mark Royden Williams, were sentenced to death for the murders of 12 residents of Bartica. The incident took place on February 17, 2008.
The men were charged along with Roger Simon, called “Goat Man”, Clebert Reece, and Michael Caesar. Simon was acquitted of the killings on Thursday.
Michael Caesar and Clebert Reece had pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter earlier. Caesar was sentenced to 60 years in jail while Reece got 35 years. Yesterday, shortly after he was acquitted for the murders, his attorney Peter Hugh successfully secured bail for the lesser charges. Initially, the attorney was unsuccessful in his petition for bail on the terrorism charge. State Counsel, Diana Kaulesar and Stacy Goodings had opposed the bail application.
Yesterday, Hugh successfully petitioned the court again for bail.
He outlined the number of years, his client spent in prison pending trial for crimes, which was eventually found not guilty.
Hugh noted that although terrorism is a serious charge, the section under which his client is charged allows for bail.
At the end of the arguments by the lawyer and the prosecutors, Justice George decided to release Simon on bail in the sum of $500,000.
Simon is now expected to face a trial on charges stemming from the Bartica Massacre. He must answer to the charges of terrorism, unlawful wounding and break and enter, and larceny.
On Thursday, the two Williams were found guilty of seven counts of murder and five counts of manslaughter.
Dennis Williams, called Anaconda, was not in court for the verdict. In fact, he had refused to attend court during the last three sessions of the hearings. But Mark Williams and Roger Simon were there.
Dennis Williams was again absent at yesterday‘s hearing.
However his lawyer Sapheir Husain asked the court to consider the time his client had spent in prison (nine years) as a suitable sentence for the manslaughter convictions. The State opposed the submissions.
And in the end, Justice George gave Dennis Williams, life imprisonment on each count of the manslaughter conviction.
The judge deferred the sentence for fellow convict, Mark Royden Williams to February 10.
The judge noted that she needed some clarity as it regards the calculation of manslaughter convictions as it regards to the latter Williams.
Tensions were high at the Georgetown High Court on Thursday as the men on trial for the 2008 Bartica massacre awaited their impending judgment.
Relatives of the accused men and curious observers crowded the courtroom of Justice George and waited until 11:45 hours that night to hear the verdict of the three men. The jury had spent almost four hours deliberating on the outcome.
When the jury returned there was a deathly silence in the courtroom. Relatives of the accused sat with stony looks on their faces. When the sentence was handed down, Simon’s relatives broke out in screams of “Freedom; Freedom.” He was acquitted for the murders.
The three men, Roger Anthony Simon, called ‘Goat Man’; Mark Royden Williams, called ‘Durant’ and ‘Smallie’; and Dennis Williams, called ‘Anaconda’, were accused of being among a number of gunmen, who murdered Lance Corporal Zaheer Zakir, Constable Shane Fredericks and Constable Ron Osborne; Edwin Gilkes, Abdool Yassin Jr, Deonarine Singh, Errol Thomas, Ronald Gomes, Baldeo Singh, Ashraf Khan, Irving Ferreira and Dexter Adrian.
After murdering the three police officers, the gang is said to have stolen cash, arms, ammunition and a vehicle from the police station. Using the stolen police vehicle, they drove through the streets of Bartica shooting at civilians.
They proceeded to CBR Mining, where they stole arms and ammunition, and removed two safes containing cash and gold. After their one-hour rampage, the gunmen departed Bartica by boat.
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