Three men charged with murdering Corentyne teacher/UG student
One allegedly escaped from authorities twice
By Daniel Da Costa
June 21, 2003
Three Corentyne men were yesterday refused bail when they appeared before Magistrate Krishendat Persaud in a New Amsterdam court charged with murder and robbery under arms.
The three, Alfred Lewis, 20, of Reef Section, Rose Hall Town, Rondell Harris, 22, of Bulletwood Street, Rose Hall Town and Brenthol Batson, 39, of Bengal Village were not required to plead and were remanded to prison. They will return to court on August 2 for a police progress report.
The three are accused of murdering Corentyne Comprehensive High School teacher and University of Guyana second-year student Sasenarine Ramnauth and robbing Bibi Safean Alli of $400,000 at A Sain and Son Supermarket, Lot 11 Williamsburg, Corentyne on June 7.
Lewis is charged separately for being in possession of a dangerous weapon and for robbing Alli of a gold bangle. He is also charged for robbing Ieen Baksh of $10,000 and his driverís licence at Port Mourant. He faces additional charges of escaping from lawful custody and for assaulting a peace officer.
According to the police, Lewis attempted to escape from the Whim Police Station where he was being detained on June 14 but was apprehended by a rank on duty. During his escape bid he suffered an injury to his arm and was taken to the Port Mourant Hospital from where he fled after assaulting Constable Gopaul Singh who was guarding him at the time.
Asked by the magistrate if they had anything to say, Harris said he was innocent while Batson said he was not at the scene of the crime. The trio allegedly armed with a gun and a knife entered the supermarket at around 6:30 p.m. and proceeded to rob patrons who were outside and inside, including the cashier Alli and the owner Akbar Hussain, of cash and other valuables. They then forced Ramnauth into his Toyota Sprinter motorcar and ordered him to drive them away from the scene.
Ramnauth reportedly refused and struggled with his captors for a few minutes until the car ploughed through the fence of a nearby house and ended up in a roadside drain. It was at this point that the teacher was reportedly fatally shot in the face. The trio then escaped through the back streets of Williamsburg.
The police in the region have been commended by Berbicians for the swift arrest of the three men who were unrepresented yesterday. Harris and Lewis who were barefoot appeared unkempt and dirty with Lewis wearing a large bandage on his right hand covering an injury he sustained during his escape bid. Batson was however well-dressed.
The case has attracted widespread interest among Berbicians, many of whom had expressed anger over the cold-blooded manner in which the well-known teacher and student was killed. He had returned to the supermarket to collect his sister and a cousin whom he had left shopping when the trio attacked.