(Freed: Michael Emanuel, Dead: Leonard Peters)
25-year-old Linden resident Michael Emanuel smiled after Justice Sandil Kissoon informed him that he was freed of a murder charge. Emanuel had been on trial at the Demerara High Court for the December 21, 2018, murder of Leonard Peters called ‘Lenny’ which occurred at West Watooka, Linden.
Following the close of the prosecution’s case on Monday, Emanuel’s lawyer, Damien Da Silva presented a no-case submission in which he contended that the prosecution’s case did not support a finding of guilt. As such, the lawyer requested that his client be discharged without having to lead a defence.
For his part, Justice Kissoon agreed with Da Silva’s submission and noted that the defence of self-defense had arisen as it can be concluded from the evidence that Emanuel harmed Peters as a means of protecting himself. And as such, the Judge held that his actions were justifiable under the law.
Accordingly, the trial judge upheld the no-case submission and directed the 12-person jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty. The case for the prosecution was presented by State Counsel Lisa Cave and State Counsel Muntaz Ali.
According to reports, Peters died while receiving treatment at the Linden Hospital Complex after he was stabbed about his body and lashed in the head with a piece of wood.
Police Headquarters had said that Peters was at a party when he accidentally spilled alcohol on Michael Emanuel’s younger brother who was 19 at the time.
A physical confrontation ensued between them, and Emanuel’s brother ran home and complained to his mother. Peters ran into the teenager’s yard and attacked him with a length of wood.
Upon seeing this, Michael Emanuel intervened and was attacked by Peters. He managed to disarm Peters and used the same piece of wood and dealt him several blows to the head.