Trio to stand High Court trial for murder of Better Hope father and daughter

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

Three of the five men who were charged with the July 4, 2019 murder of Better Hope, East Coast Demerara moneychanger Aaron Latchman and his 18-year-old daughter Arianna were on Friday committed to stand trial for the capital offence at the High Court in Demerara.

When the matter was called, Magistrate Alisha George ruled that having considered the prosecution’s evidence, the court was of the view that a prima facie case had been made out against the men to put them on trial. As such, they were further remanded to prison pending the hearing and determination of their trial which is scheduled for the next practicable sitting of the Demerara Assizes.

On May 13, last, the Magistrate ruled that a prima facie case (sufficient evidence) 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. They then opted to lead their defense in the matter.

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.  As such, Thomas was discharged and informed that he was free to go.

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.