The trial of Jermaine Savory, who is accused of the November 6, 2008 murder of Melissa Payne, commenced yesterday before Justice James Bovell-Drakes at the High Court in Georgetown.
Before a 12-member mixed jury, Savory who is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Maxwell McKay, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Attorney-at-Law Mandel More is presenting the State’s case.
Payne, 27, formerly of Den Amstel, West Bank Demerara, was killed after she attempted to put up a fight with gunmen who carried out a brazen attack on her and a male friend at Agricola, East Bank Demerara. The gunmen escaped with some $100,000 cash and a quantity of jewellery that were contained in the woman’s handbag.
Based on reports, Payne and her male friend, David Fraser were in a Canter truck and upon approaching Agricola, the truck encountered some mechanical problems. They were heading to Georgetown to conduct business.
Fraser stopped the truck to attend to the problems while Payne remained inside. But after a few minutes, Payne came out of the vehicle and stood watching her friend while he fixed the problem. A gunman approached Fraser from behind demanding valuables and snatched away his gold chain while Payne tried to escape, but was cornered by another bandit who was acting as the lookout.
Upon seeing Payne’s handbag, the bandits intensified their demands.
Payne, who was hesitant at first, eventually complied with the bandits’ demands. But as she was handing over the bag, its strap became entangled, causing the bandits to believe that she was reluctant.
Payne, who was shot in the area under the armpit, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Meanwhile, on May 4, last, 24-year-old Sylvester Vanderhyden of 3974 Block ‘A’ Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo was charged with Payne’s murder. Vanderhyden, who was 15 years of age at the time of the killing, was not required to plead to the indictable offence when he appeared before the Chief Magistrate.
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