…sentenced to more than 12 years in jailTwenty-seven-year-old Vanessa Baird was handed a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Tuesday after she admitted to killing 43-year-old push cart vendor Percival Williams, on December 21, 2013 over $1000 at the Parika Stelling, East Bank Essequibo.Represented by Defence Counsel, Mark Conway, the mother of one, in tears, asked the court to be lenient with her so that she can return to care for her seven-year-old child.According to the State’s case which was presented by Prosecutors Abigail Gibbs, Natasha Backer and Tiffini Lyken, Williams was given $1000 by his would-be killer to purchase Chinese food for her and her son. At some point however, she asked Williams, a former Hague, West Coast Demerara resident for the money that she gave him and the two exchanged expletives after he did not comply.Baird held onto Williams’ jersey and a scuffle ensued and she then stabbed him in the lower chest area. The prosecution further relayed that the accused in her caution statement admitted that she had taken the knife from another person and committed the act.Williams immediately fell to the ground and was pronounced dead at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. His post-mortem examination showed that he died from perforation of the lung and heart due to stabbing. Reports back then were that Williams had converted the money to his own use.In making pleas of mitigation, Baird’s attorney observed that at the time of the incident, the woman was encountering financial difficulties being a single parent. Conway highlighted that his client has reflected on her actions and has improved her ability to have self-control. The court also heard that the woman now attends church services, sewing and drama classes whilst being incarcerated.Presiding Judge Navindra Singh, noted that it did not make sense to kill Baird in the manner which he lost his life. He encouraged her to seek out anger management classes as she continues the rehabilitation process. Baird’s time spent on remand awaiting trial will be deducted from her overall sentence.
Vendor’s murderThirty-two-year-old Roy Stanford of ‘A’ Field, Sophia, alleged mastermind in the shooting death of Bourda Market cheese vendor Troy Ramalho, committed on August 15 during the course of a robbery, was on Friday remanded to prison after being arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge of murder.Late last month, two other men who are also said to be implicated in the murder were remanded to jail.During Friday’s court hearing, taxi driver George Patron told the court he was not a part of the heinous crime that was committed, and that he was only a taxi driver who was hired to take the men to the location.The trio are expected to make their next court appearance on September 24.Reports are that, after the killing, Patron allegedly admitted to investigators that he had transported Morris and two other men to the scene of the robbery.The taxi driver reportedly told Police he had picked up the men at Stabroek, Georgetown, and they had asked him to drive to Robb Street, Georgetown.He claimed he was told to wait for the men to return, and was instructed to park on Alexander Street, between Regent Street and North Road.According to him, after the men had excited the vehicle, he heard gunshots, after which they came running towards the car. He reportedly told Police the following day he was given $40,000 by the men, who are known to him.