Michael ‘Capone’ Caesar, one of the men serving time for the Bartica and Lusignan massacres has been sentenced to serve an additional 13 years in prison for killing two other persons at Mon Repos in December of 2007.
His case came up yesterday before Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall at the High Court. According to the charge on December 16, 2007, Caesar, along with others, while armed with guns and cutlasses, murdered two men of Fazil Hakim called ‘Boyie’, 25, and Rajesh Singh called ‘Rabbit’, 35.
Caesar was also charged for robbing the two men of cash, jewellery and other valuables.
During a hearing conducted via zoom, the accused opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter. He also admitted to the robbery charge. Prosecutors Tuanna Hardy and Tyra Baker presented the case on behalf of the State.
Prior to sentencing, Hardy furnished the Court with some facts about the accused while his lawyer, Maxwell McKay, petitioned the court for leniency. Hardy told the Court that Caesar gave a confession statement detailing his involvement in the killings.
According to Prosecutor Hardy, Caesar served as the ‘look-out man’ of the group of men, who invaded a liquor bar at Lot 82, Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, and carried out the killings and robberies. He later fled the country to neighbouring Suriname. He was caught and arrested by police two years after the crime was committed.
The State Attorney asked the court to consider that two innocent lives were lost as a result of the crime committed by Caesar and his associates. She noted that there was some degree of deliberation in the act committed by the accused.
On the other hand, McKay asked the court to consider his client’s early plea and the years he spent in prison awaiting trial. In a breakdown of the sentence, Justice Morris-Ramlall handed Caesar 36 years’ sentence for manslaughter. She deducted 12 years for his early guilty plea and another 11 years for the time he spent in pre-trial custody; hence arriving at the the overall
13 years prison sentence in relation to the two counts of manslaughter. In relation to the 30 years’ jail term on each of the two counts of robbery under-arms, the judge made similar deductions for early guilty plea and time already served; hence bringing the total sentence for each of the robbery under-arms charges to nine years. The Judge then ordered that the 13 years and nine years prison sentence to run concurrently.
Caesar is currently serving sixty years in prison for his involvement in the Lusignan and Bartica killings. The Judge ordered that the additionally 13 years be served in concurrence with 60 years, he is currently serving.
Caesar was previously sentenced to serve 60 years in prison after he admitted to committing 20 counts of manslaughter for innocent lives, which were lost when gunmen attacked Lusignan, East Coast Demerara; and Bartica, Region Seven in January and February 2008, respectively.
On the night of January 26, 2008, gunmen stormed the small village of Lusignan and murdered 11 people including five children. The residents were asleep when they were awakened by gunshots and men kicking down the doors to their homes.
Those killed were Shazam Mohamed; Shaleem Baksh; Clarence Thomas and his two children -Ron and Vanessa Thomas; Mohandai Gourdat and her two sons, Seegobin, 4 and Seegopaul Harrilall 10; Dhanwajie Ramsingh; Seecharran Rooplall and Raywattie Ramsingh.
Caesar was indicted for unlawfully killing eight of them – Mohamed, Baksh, Clarence Thomas and his two children, and Mohandai Gourdat and her two sons.
He was charged for mass killings at Bartica, where some persons were watching a T20 cricket match when gunmen went on a killing spree. Five children and three police ranks were among those killed in the two attacks.
A total of 23 people died in the hail of bullets from the guns of the killers—11 at Lusignan and 12 at Bartica. Caesar was later identified as part a group of men led by the notorious Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins, who was later killed by police on August 28, 2008.
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