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1 freed, 3 to lead defence in murders of Better Hope father and daughter

Murder accused: Lloyd Sadloo, Mark Rufino, Paul Chan, Troy Abrams, and Sean Thomas

Magistrate Alisha George on Thursday ruled that a prima facie case (sufficient evidence) has been made out against three of the five men charged with the murder  July 14, 2019 murder of Better Hope, East Coast Demerara moneychanger Aaron Latchman and his 18-year-old daughter Arianna.

The trio has since opted to lead a defence on May 21, 2021 at the Sparendaam Magistrates’ Courts.

Magistrate George ruled that a prima face case was made out against Paul Chan called ‘Long Hair’, 37, a conductor of 10 Dennis Street, Sophia; Troy Abrams called ‘Troy’ or ‘Rasta man’, 44, a vendor of Middle Street, Agricola, EBD; Lloyd Sadloo, 37, a vendor of 220 Mocha Arcadia, EBD for the double murder.

However, she noted that the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence against another accused Sean Thomas called ‘Yankee’, 41, an electrician of 59 William Street, Kitty. Hence, Thomas was  informed that he was discharged and free to go.

Arianna Latchman and her father Aaron

One of the accused killers, Mark Rufino, 25, a labourer of Parika Facade, East Bank Essequibo, is yet to be recaptured after he escaped from the Holding Bay at the Lusignan Prison between Tuesday, October 20, 2020, and Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

The chambers  of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had advised that Rufino be removed from the joint charge and that the Preliminary Inquiry (PI), which had already started, continue for the others.

On June 4, 2019, Latchman and his daughter were gunned down by bandits on their arrival home. The bandits carted off a bag containing cash. On the day of the incident, the teenager was shot to her chest when the bandits entered the house through the back door and began demanding money.

Her father was shot three times-twice to the right-side shoulder and once to the left. Following the robbery, the gunmen made good their escape in a white waiting Toyota Carina 212 motorcar. The father and daughter were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where they were pronounced dead.