(L-R) Killed: Rawle Rodrigues, Confessed killer: Affiba Yenkana; Confessed killer: Akeem Haymer
Akeem Haymer called ‘Curry’ and Affiba Yenkana called ‘Dugla’ were, on Wednesday, each sentenced to life imprisonment for the unlawful killing of 43-year-old Leopold Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown mason Rawle Rodrigues back in January 2017.
Following their arraignment before Justice Sandil Kissoon last week, Yenkana and Haymer had pleaded not guilty to a joint murder charge. Their trial commenced thereafter before a 12-member jury. On Wednesday, however, they both opted to plead guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter.
As such, the Judge stopped the trial and directed the jury to return not guilty verdicts for both men on the manslaughter charge. Police had said that Rodrigues was killed at about 21:30 h on the day in question, in the vicinity of Demico House at Stabroek, Georgetown.
Police had also said enquiries disclosed that Rodrigues and two men had an altercation when he was allegedly stabbed once to his chest by one of the men with an object. The injured man was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
In his address to the court, Yenkanan expressed: “I really sorry how this thing happen. I am very sorry about this incident. Like I don’t know what more to say right now. I am really sorry about what the deceased’s family has to go through right now.”
Meanwhile, Haymer said: “I am sorry how things happen. This is the first time this happened and it won’t happen again. I am begging the family for mercy. I am begging them to be lenient with me. I am begging the whole court to see with me. I didn’t waste the court’s time.”
Justice Kissoon, in his sentencing, remarks, told the killers that they are both young and appear to be in excellent health “but yet you have elected to resort to the practice of crime and preying on citizens.” The Judge noted the prevalence of homicide in society and reiterated that the Courts must play its role in eliminating this state by imposing sentences that will serve as a deterrent.
Yenkana and Haymer will become eligible for parole after serving 15 years. Yenkana was represented by Attorney-at-law Rachael Bakker, while Haymer was represented by Attorney-at-law Lawrence Harris. State Counsel Lisa Cave and State Counsel Muntaz Ali appeared on behalf of the prosecution.