Appeal Court cuts killer’s jail sentence from 65 to 27 years  

On Monday, the Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of Lakeraj Fredericks, whom State Prosecutors say murdered his brother-in-law and buried him in a shallow grave. The appeal court, however, reduced the man’s 65-year jail term to 27 years after finding that the initial sentence was severe.

The appeal court led by Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards agreed with submissions put forward by Frederick’s counsel, Rachael Bakker who argued that the sentence imposed by the trial judge was severe. The appeal court further ordered that the convict is to be given full credit for the time he spent incarcerated from  June 22, 2011.

The body of Clifton Bonus called “Mutts” was discovered dumped in a gully in the backlands of the old airstrip at Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) on June 8, 2011.  It was reported that Bonus and his brother-in-law argued over marijuana seeds before he was killed. A post mortem revealed that he died of haemorrhage which resulted from two gunshot wounds to the head.

Following a trial at the Demerara High Court in 2017, Fredericks was found unanimously guilty of Bonus’ murder by a 12-member jury. He was subsequently sentenced to 65 years imprisonment by the trial judge but later challenged his conviction and sentence at the Court of Appeal.

Fredericks, 41, is currently serving a 22 years’ jail sentence for the June 11, 2011, unlawful killing of 38-year-old Vernon Romaldo whom he stabbed twice to the chest at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara. He was initially charged with the man’s murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter in April 2018.