Prison officer was stabbed to death
--autopsy shows
Stabroek News
February 28, 2002

An autopsy performed on deceased prison officer, 21 year old Troy Williams on Tuesday indicated that he died as a result of stab wounds to the body.

Earlier reports, including a police press release shortly after Saturday's incident at the Georgetown prison, had stated that Williams of New Amsterdam, Berbice had been shot by one of the five prisoners who escaped from the Camp Street facility on the said day.

However, according to the post mortem results, Williams was said to have received several stab wounds to the body, two of which penetrated his heart and lung. Confirming this Director of Prisons, Dale Erskine, speaking with Stabroek News yesterday indicated that the prison officer had received between five to six stab wounds.

Erskine also confirmed that Williams, who was on duty at the time of the attack, would be buried with full military honours at New Amsterdam, Berbice (his former home town) on Friday.

Meanwhile members of the commission appointed to probe Saturday's jailbreak have begun their work, according to a Guyana Information Agency (GINA) press release yesterday. Informed sources told this newspaper that the Commission which is being chaired by retired Chancellor of the Judiciary and Chairman of the Police Complaints Commission, Cecil Kennard OR CCH, included former Deputy Police Commissioner and Security Coordinator in the Home Affairs Ministry, Sultan Kassim, Guyana Defence Force Officer, Lt Col Christine King, Detective Senior Superintendent Frederick Caesar, Former Deputy Director of Prisons Fredricks and Mr Van Nooten. It is expected that the commission will sit officially on Friday.

Meanwhile citizens of the city and its environs are being asked to be more alert, cautious and sensitive to the need for increased security at their homes and business places. Also, persons who provide public transportation such as taxi drivers are asked to report any instances of car jacking or other suspicious incidents to the police.

Cabinet Secretary, Dr Luncheon after an early morning meeting with the Heads of the Joint Services yesterday in the wake of the escape of five criminals considered to be armed and dangerous, gave the alert.

The five are Andrew Douglas, who was associated with Linden London, Dale Moore, Troy Dick, Sean Brown and Mark Fraser.

Dr Luncheon told the post Cabinet press briefing that the assessment of the Joint Services Heads is that elements of the "Blackie" gang had re grouped, facilitated by the fact that a number of them were together in jail at the same time and had been able to plan and then put their plans into operation.

He said too that the possibility of the involvement of a warden in facilitating Saturday's jailbreak was also being actively pursued. He said that prisons would normally generate clandestine engagements between the wardens and the prisoners and though frowned on by the prisons' administration this nonetheless persisted.

He said that there had been instances where escape from the prisons, hospitals and work gangs had been facilitated by prison wardens.

Director of Prisons Erskine yesterday told Stabroek News that two prison officers had also been detained for questioning by police in their probe into the escape of the five felons.

Questioned about the theory of a possibility of the jailbreak being an inside job, the Director would only acknowledge that police investigators were examining all the possibilities in their efforts to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

In an interview with a GINA correspondent on Tuesday, Erskine had revealed that prisoners outnumbered prison officers by 67 to one, and that this had been taken into consideration in deciding to have prison officials remain unarmed.

When Luncheon was asked whether it had been determined that the prisons' administration had lapsed in allowing such dangerous felons to be together, he replied that there were a number of theories of penology that suggested the need for creating a congenial environment in an effort to avoid disharmony in the prisons. The board of enquiry set up by the Ministry of Home Affairs will pronounce on the appropriateness of implementing these theories in the circumstances that existed at the Camp Street jail, he said.

Meanwhile the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Public Relations Officer Kwame McCoy, while confirming that there had been no improvement in prison officer, Roxanne Winfield's condition following surgery on Monday evening, stated that her condition was being continually monitored. This he acknowledged was the furthest hospital personnel could go.

Upon further questioning regarding reports of police action in relation to two employees of the hospital, McCoy stated that two employees had been invited to accompany the police to the station to assist them in their investigations into the Mash Day jailbreak.

This information was later also conveyed in a release from GPHC, which also stated that an employee named in a television news broadcast on Tuesday evening which was rebroadcast yesterday morning had been incorrectly identified as having been questioned by the police.

This, the release further stated, had caused serious embarrassment to the staff member who had called the newscast to request a retraction.

The five escapees who hijacked a car in Bel Air Park on Tuesday, and are suspected of robbing two security guards of their weapons in Festival City a few hours later, continue to evade a countrywide police dragnet in place since they made good their escape from the jail on Saturday.