Moneychanger’s murder: One freed, co-accused leads defence

Kerwin Dos Santos, one of the two men on trial for the 2018 murder of Water Street, Georgetown moneychanger Sean Nurse, popularly known as “Fabulous”, has been freed.

Dos Santos, 30, and his co-accused George Hope, 30, both of Freeman Street, East La Penitence Georgetown are on trial for the capital offence at the High Court in Demerara.

When the trial continued on Wednesday, Justice Simone Morris-Ramall upheld the no-case submission presented on Dos Santos’s behalf by his lawyer, Nigel Hughes.

The defence counsel made the submission at the close of the prosecution’s case.

As such, she directed the mixed 12-member jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty in favour of Dos Santos who was subsequently discharged and informed that he was free to go.

The prosecutors have given the court oral notice of the State’s intention to appeal Dos Santos’s acquittal.

Hope, on the other hand, who is also being represented by Attorney Hughes, was called upon to lead a defence after the trial Judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence against him.

He elected to give an unsworn testimony via Zoom from the prison.

The murder accused, in his testimony, told the court that he has an alibi.

He said that he was at home with his then six-month-old son at the time Nurse was shot and killed, so there is no way he could have committed the crime.

Hope is accused of murdering Nurse during the course or furtherance of a robbery that occurred on February 4, 2018, in the county of Demerara. He had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 16, Hope’s lawyer and the prosecution will present closing arguments. Thereafter, Justice Morris-Ramalll will sum up the evidence to the jurors before sending them to deliberate on a verdict.

Attorneys-at-Law Marisa Edwards, Tanesha Saigon, Abiola Lowe, and Delon Fraser are the prosecutors.

According to reports, Nurse, 47, a father of three, of the South Ruimveldt Shopping Plaza, Georgetown was shot once in the face, just under the left eye.

Police Headquarters had reported that Nurse was seated on a chair at the corner of America Street and Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown when a gun-toting man demanded that he hand over his money, including local and foreign currency.

And when he resisted, the gunman shot Nurse in the face before making good his escape, north on Avenue of the Republic and then east into Charlotte Street, Georgetown. The perpetrator was identified as a man wearing a hoodie and a pair of brown trousers.

While examining the crime scene, Police detectives recovered a 9mm spent shell. Hope and Dos Santos were initially charged with Nurse’s murder back in 2018; and following an appearance before a Magistrate, they were remanded to prison.

After finding that a prima facie case had been made against them at the end of a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) the following year, the Magistrate committed both of them to stand trial for the capital offence by a jury before a Judge at the Demerara Criminal Assizes.