On May 23, 2017 High Court Judge Jo-Ann Barlow ordered that Lennox Wayne face a new trial for the murder of Lusignan cosmetologist Ashmini Harriram who was gunned down on July 10, 2014, at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.
According to reports, Harriram was shot once to the neck moments after she disembarked a minibus along the Lusignan Railway, Embankment, East Coast Demerara.
On the day of the incident, the shooter reportedly exited a burgundy-coloured motorcar, whipped out a gun, shot the teen, then took away her cell phone and fled.
Wayne and Melroy Doris, a taxi driver, were subsequently arrested and charged with the capital offence.
Wayne has been jointly charged for the murder along with Doris, who is alleged to have been his accomplice.
But one year later, Wayne also known as “Two Colours” has been forced to remain in jail only to wonder when his matter will be called again. Wayne feels as though he is being victimized by the State.
Wayne told this publication that his first trial commenced on April 7, 2017 before Justice Barlow at the High Court in Georgetown. At that time, he said, he was represented by Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes.
Wayne, 36, a father of three, said he has been away from his children for more than four years for something he did not do. The murder accused believes that he will be acquitted for the crime and is anticipating his day in court.
As it is, Wayne says that he is presumed innocent until found guilty—one of his fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Guyana. In the meantime, Wayne is calling on the relevant authorities to look into his concerns as soon as possible.
At Wayne’s first trial, which began on April 2017, after all the evidence was presented, the case was put to a 12- member mixed jury for deliberation on a verdict.
According to records, the jury retired at around 11:00hrs on May 23, 2017 to deliberate. Almost four hours later, the jury asked for further directions from the trial judge with regard to issues relating to the evidence presented in the trial.
Members of the panel inquired about an alleged alibi, in which Wayne said he had been at the headquarters of the Police Tactical Services Unit (TSU) at the time of the shooting.
The panel had also raised questions about marks of violence, Wayne is said to have sustained during the police interrogation. The jury retired a second time at a little after 16:00 hours.
When the panel re-emerged, they initially announced that there was a unanimous not guilty verdict for murder.
The pronouncement caused Wayne who stood a short distance away in the prisoner’s dock, to breathe sighs of relief.
However, there was a misunderstanding on the part of the jury regarding the term “unanimous.”
It was, therefore, explained to them that the word meant that the entire 12-member panel had agreed to a common outcome of the trial — that the accused was not guilty of the offence.
It was after this explanation that the foreperson disclosed that the panel could not reach a common verdict for any of the accused in relation to the offence that they were charged.
It was then the trial judge explained to Wayne and Doris that they would remain in jail until another trial during another session of the Demerara Assizes.
However, Wayne cries that several assizes have come and gone and his matter has still not been called.
For every upcoming assizes, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would publish a list of names of persons who are to be tried. There are normally four assizes per year – in January, April, June and October.
Wayne and Doris’s first trial was called in the April assizes of last year.
The names of the two murder accused are at #9 on the most recent list published for the Demerara Assizes.
Wayne expressed that the court system is unfair. In explaining this, he sought to highlight the fact that a man, whose trial for attempted murder ended in a hung jury last year October, was tried again in June of this year, and he was convicted. He is now questioning why he is being left to punish in jail for so long, since he has his legal team ready.
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