“This individual should never see the light of day again”, these were the words of Justice Navindra Singh as he sentenced a convicted killer to 75 years’ imprisonment on Wednesday at the High Court in Essequibo. 30-year-old Oneal Griffith of La Grange, West Bank Demerara was on trial before a 12-member jury for the December 30, 2015 murder of Brazilian miner, Braz Alves Dos Santos.
Following deliberations on Wednesday, the jury found Griffith guilty of the crime. The verdict was unanimous. Despite the verdict. Griffith, a father of two and boat captain professed his innocence. In fact, he told the court that the witnesses called by the prosecution told “a set of lies on him.” In the end, Justice Singh sentenced him to 75 years’ imprisonment with time spent on remand to be deducted by the prison.
The judge ordered that the convicted killer does not become eligible for parole until after serving a minimum of 50 years behind bars. Throughout the trial, Griffith was represented by Attorney-at-law Ravindra Mohabir, while State Counsel Tiffini Lyken presented the case for the prosecution.
Based on media reports, on the day in question, Dos Santos was working at a mining camp when he and a workmate was held at gunpoint by Griffith. A fight ensued between them during which Dos Santos was shot to the neck. After the attack, Griffith escaped with a boat and engine and a quantity of raw gold.