Policeman charged with manslaughter
Stabroek News
November 1, 2001

Newly recruited police officer Junior McKenzie was remanded to prison by Magistrate Maxwell Edwards yesterday after he was read the indictable charge of manslaughter for the killing of Sonia Jerrick at Beehive last week.

He is scheduled to return to court next Tuesday.

McKenzie, 19, of Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara allegedly shot Sonia Jerrick known as 'Chooks' to death last Tuesday at Beehive, East Coast Demerara.

Arriving at the packed Cove and John Magistrate's Court yesterday, McKenzie ran up the court steps to face his charge.

Attorneys-at-law Basil Williams and Nigel Niles appeared on behalf of the defendant and in their application for bail, told the court that McKenzie had only joined the Guyana Police Force about a year ago and had an unblemished reputation.

Williams, who hinted later that he was of the opinion that his client would not have been granted bail, asked for an early date to commence the preliminary inquiry.

Parents of the deceased, Patsy Campbell and Rudy Jerrick, who were present in court, wept as the charge was read out. Jerrick said that all he needed was justice and that he was prepared to go the extra mile for it. Campbell said she feared the outcome of the proceedings.

She also recounted that Sonia's last words to her were: 'Mummy I am going out on the road.'

Elroy Johnson, Sonia's reputed husband who is a porkknocker, said he was very confused when he learnt of Sonia's demise. He described his late wife as a very special person and noted that his two children will have to go through life without a mother.

On October 23, Jerrick's body was discovered near a village bridge. She had a gunshot wound to her nose and a bruise to her face. The mother of two was laid to rest on Tuesday at a soul funeral attended by scores of relatives and friends.

Three other police officers were implicated but have not yet been charged. According to a source close to the police, it is likely that they might be placed on departmental charges.