Sentenced to death: Imran Ramsaywack

Although Guyana has not carried out any execution since 1997, Justice Sandil Kissoon yesterday imposed the death sentence on 29-year-old Imran Ramsaywack, who was found guilty of murder by a 12-person jury. Ramsaywack, also known as, “Kevin Jones” and “Coolie Boy” was found guilty of the March 2015 murder of US-based citizen and boutique owner Samantha Benjamin.

Sentenced to death: Imran Ramsaywack

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Ramsaywack, who was represented by lawyer Ravindra Mohabir, denied the allegation which stated that between March 25 and March 26, 2015 at Buxton, East Coast Demerara, he murdered Benjamin.

According to reports, Samantha Benjamin was killed in a house at Middle Walk, Buxton, on March 25, 2015 and her body was dismembered and subsequently dumped into the Atlantic Ocean, along the same village. It was discovered the following morning.

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Justice Kissoon in imposing the death sentence told Ramsaywack that there were no mitigating factors. In fact, Justice Kissoon said that Benjamin’s death was a cold-blooded, calculated robbery which escalated into a murder. Justice Kissoon took into consideration the manner in which Benjamin met her demise, as well as the efforts of Ramsaywack to get rid of her body. Benjamin’s relatives who were present in court rejoiced. They believe that justice has been served.

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Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs and Mandel Moore presented the case for the State. During Ramsaywack’s trial, police rank Deoraj Ramdeholl testified via Skype. He told the court of an interview he had with Ramsaywack. According to the police witness, on March 26, 2015 at around 07:30hrs, he received an anonymous call from someone. As a result of what was related to him, Ramdeholl said he visited the Annandale foreshore where he found the body of a woman which was stuck between two rocks.

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Murdered: Samantha Benjamin

The body, according to him, was clad in a blue bra and pink skirt; it had no head, arms and legs. He added that upon examining the body, there were chop wounds on the abdomen. He said that he retrieved a head, two arms and two legs from the sea. The police rank told the jury that on April 03, 2015, he received certain information and as a result he and a party of policemen went to 103 Middle Walk Buxton, East Coast Demerara.

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Once there, he made contact with Ramsaywack, who gave his name as “Kevin Jones.” Ramsaywack, he said, told him that he and Benjamin resided at the property and that he last saw her on March 27, 2015 around 10:00hrs. Ramdeholl told the court that he searched Benjamin’s bedroom where he found what appeared to be blood on a beam and mirror. At this point, he testified to cautioning the murder accused before putting a murder allegation to him.

The police rank recounted that he searched a fowl pen in the yard and found a brown-handled cutlass before escorting Ramsaywack to the Vigilance Police Station. There, he added, Ramsaywack was shown the cutlass and admitted that he and two other men, “Itchy” and “Zakari”, used it to chop off Benjamin’s head, arms and legs. These two men, he said, were arrested but later released.

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The police witness recounted that the murder accused was taken back to the house where he pointed out a yellow wheelbarrow that was used to transport the woman’s body to the foreshore. The police rank also told the court that Ramsaywack took him to an area at the foreshore where the woman’s head was chopped off. He added that the remains were transported to Memorial Gardens. Other police ranks and civilians were also called to testify by the prosecution in this trial.

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