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Man to sue state after court found him not guilty of murder

FREED: Pascale Smith

A Barr Street, Kitty, Georgetown man who was found not guilty of murder last week Wednesday is planning on suing the State for the role the Guyana Police Force (GPF) played in “falsifying evidence against him”.

29 Year Old Pascale Smith called ‘Pop Skull’ was acquitted after Justice Brassington Reynolds upheld a no-case submission made on his behalf by his lawyer, Siand Dhurjon, and directed the jury to return a formal not guilty verdict.

Smith was accused of murdering John Heckert Hutson, a resident of Austin Street, Kitty, Georgetown between April 31 and  May 27, 2017. Facts revealed that the man was beaten to death on a parapet at Alexander Street, Kitty.

Smith had been on remand for the murder of Hutson for almost five years since 2017.  He made headlines in July 2017 when he escaped from prison and was later apprehended at Barr Street, Kitty.

The prosecution’s case against Smith was that during the dark morning hours of April 31, 2017, Smith beat Hutson mercilessly on the road in front of the Avon building on Alexander Street Kitty by stamping him onto the ground and by pelting a brick at his head until he was motionless.

Smith’s lawyer said an eyewitness ran to the Kitty Police Station and made a report and Hutson was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital while unconscious, where he remained hospitalized for over a month until his death.

The post mortem report showed that there was severe damage to Hutson’s brain and lungs and that the 40-year-old man died from cerebral hemorrhage as a result of blunt trauma to the head.

Meanwhile, in an invited comment, Smith stated that he intends to sue the State for the Police’s role in falsifying evidence against him.

During Smith’s trial, Dhurjon said an eyewitness recanted his testimony, stating that a Police rank by the name of “Chapman” caused him to sign a paper and to point his client on an identification parade.

According to Dhurjon, the witness, who was a member of the Kitty Policing Group at the time of the murder,  also denied knowing Smith and Hutson and said that “Chapman”  told him that he “had to cooperate and help the Police”.