Duo accused of 2020 killing of Corentyne rice farmer freed

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Freed: Gobin Balram and Jerry Pirtam

The two men accused of brutally murdering a rice farmer in a dispute over a stolen cow back in 2020 were freed of the capital offence on Monday after Senior Magistrate Alex Moore upheld no-case submissions made on their behalf by their attorney.

Gobin Balram, 62, a farmer, and 27-year-old Jerry Pirtam, a labourer—both of Number 65 Village, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne)—were accused of killing 40-year-old Parmanand Lakeram, their fellow villager, whose bullet-riddled body was found at the Number 67 Village Corentyne backlands on January 30, 2020.

Dead, Parmanand Lakeram

At the close of the prosecution’s case in their Preliminary Inquiry (PI) at the Number 51 Magistrate’s Court, the duo’s lawyer, Bernard Da Silva, made no-case submissions in favour of them. The submissions were upheld by Magistrate Moore, who accordingly discharged the men.

It was reported that Lakeram and two men were in his vehicle travelling into the backdam when they saw a light approaching. As such, the farmer stopped his vehicle and disembarked to make inquiries but instead, he was reportedly shot in the process.

Police had stated that the now-dead man instructed his two friends to hide as he approached the incoming motorbike. After the incident, the friends told Police that they heard Lakeram screaming to them, “run boy, run, ‘Chunic’ just shoot me”.

At that point, the men left their hiding places and went in different directions but as they ran for their lives, they heard other gunshots.

The two men quickly informed Lakeram’s family members of what transpired and without hesitation, they went to the scene in the company of the dead man’s brother. There, they saw Lakeram sitting in a pool of blood next to his vehicle.

His body bore about eight gunshot wounds.