Nov 28, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Notorious death row inmate, Cyon ‘Picture Boy’ Collier died in jail on Saturday, his relatives have confirmed.
He was ailing at the time of his death. Collier was sentenced to death for killing two brothers back in September 23, 2006 in Victoria, East Coast Demerara and also a businessman of Non Pareil also on the East Coast. He was acquitted of the Non Pareil murder.
He was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime in 2016 after being convicted for the murder of brothers: Ray Walcott called ‘Suga’, and Carl Andrews, called ‘Alo’. The incident took place at Victoria, East Coast Demerara. According to reports, Collier rode up on a motorcycle and began chatting with a group of domino players in Victoria before pulling out a gun and shooting at them.
Walcott and Andrews sustained gunshot wounds, and succumbed as a result of the injuries.
During the first trial in the matter, a jury had failed to reach the verdict of a unanimous decision in relation to the crime. However, after two hours and fifteen minutes in the second trial, a mixed jury panel returned to the courtroom of Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and announced that they had found Collier guilty on both counts of murder. Collier had pleaded his innocence from the inception of the trial.
However, after he was found guilty, the former accused sought forgiveness from relatives of the deceased, some of whom were present at the hearing. Still, the convict noted his disbelief at the outcome. During the trial, Collier was represented by Attorney-at-law Lyndon Amsterdam.
Amsterdam had protested that the statements presented by State witnesses were flawed and filled with inconsistencies. But State Prosecutor Tuanna Hardy insisted that the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Hardy pointed out that the evidence was clear – in the case of Walcott, he had a gaping wound to his forehead matching the spent shells found nearby, which belonged to an AK-47. The Prosecutor also noted that Andrews was shot at least three times.
Back in 2014, after lengthy deliberation, the jury in the murder trial of Collier announced that they had reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty in relation to him killing Non Pareil businessman Chandrapaul Persaud called ‘Kero Man’. Justice Dawn Gregory was presiding in the case. He was at the time facing his second trial in the matter before the judge and jury at the High Court after the last trial ended in a deadlock when the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Collier was accused of being involved in a robbery during which the businessman who operated a wholesale/retail outlet from his home at Non Pareil selling household, haberdashery and other items including gas and kerosene, was murdered.
The man was reportedly shot outside his residence by one of three masked bandits during a robbery, which occurred on September 12, 2006. The gunmen, who entered the businessman’s premises, are said to have robbed his family of cash and jewellery before driving off with his car. Collier was later identified as one of the three gunmen and was subsequently charged for the murder.
The Judge recounted the evidence of witnesses who were called upon to testify. Several witnesses had given evidence in the trial including the slain businessman’s wife Bibi Nazeema Issack, and Lilowattie Dhanraj who lived next door to the couple. The witnesses were called to the stand by State Prosecutors, Natasha Backer and Mercedes Thompson.
Issack recalled the trauma which her family endured during the night of the incident. The woman was said to be at home with her two daughters when armed bandits struck. The witness recalled that she heard the sound of gunshots and bottles breaking before the men entered her home. She said that she begged the thieves, who demanded cash and jewellery, not to harm anyone.
Dhanraj recalled that she witnessed the crime from a window of her house, which is situated next door to the late businessman. She said that she heard someone yell, “thief thief!” before she saw one of the men pointing a gun at her neighbour. The woman said that she was standing in the upper flat of her house, peering through a window. She said that she then heard “bang”, three times. The witness stated that there were two other men. She said that the men subsequently left in the car which was owned by her neighbour. She further said that she ran out on the road where she saw the injured man lying on the ground.
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