Guyana: Convicted wife killer appeals 78-year sentence

Guyana: Convicted wife killer appeals 78-year sentence
Kevin Verwayne (left) and Farida Ramdeen
Kevin Verwayne (left) and Farida Ramdeen

(KAIETEUR NEWS) — In May 2014, the now 28-year-old Kevin Verwayne was sentenced to 78 years’ imprisonment for the murder of his reputed wife, Farida Ramdeen, called ‘Susie’, whom he drowned. High Court Judge Navindra Singh imposed the sentence.

A 12-member mixed jury had convicted Verwayne of the crime having returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
According to reports, between March 3 and March 6, 2011, Verwayne murdered the woman at Houston, East Bank Demerara.

It is reported that Verwayne had taken Ramdeen, 20, in a taxi from their home at Pourderoyen, West Bank Demerara to Gafoors at Houston, East Bank Demerara under the pretext that he was taking her to visit his aunt in Albouystown.

According to reports, before killing the woman, Verwayne had walked her down a muddy road and when she asked him where he was taking her, he cuffed her to her mouth and compelled her to “walk.” He took off his boots and caused her to take off her slippers.

He then reportedly told her, “Baby, all those things you been putting me through, all the time a telling yuh a gon kill yuh but yuh didn’t believe me; when I go to work, you does have man in the house sexing you and I does work hard fuh give you all me money.”

Verwayne then hugged Ramdeen and jumped into the trench with her where he choked her until she became lifeless. He then hid her body under some cane trash and returned home.

At the Court of Appeal, Verwayne is arguing that not only is the sentence excessive, but without any legal basis. According to the convict, the prosecutions failed to produce certain documents, which could possibly link another suspect to the crime.

Advancing more grounds, Verwayne said that the said documents were in the possession of police but went missing although numerous requests were made to have them produced. The convict is of the view that the pertinent documents would have raised substantial doubt in his case for the jurors to consider.

Among other grounds, Verwayne said that failure to produce the documents or an explanation to what became of them was unfair and prejudicial to his defence. This appeal comes up for hearing on January 24, 2019 before Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justices of Appeal Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory.

Appearing for Verwayne is Attorney-at-law Melvin Duke, while Senior State Counsel Stacy Goodings is representing the Prosecution.

In calculating a sentence for Verwayne, Justice Singh started at a base of 60 years.

The Judge had then added on 10 years for premeditation, five years for the manner in which the woman was killed, another six years for domestic violence. He also deducted three years for the time Verwayne spent in pretrial custody.

After he was convicted and sentenced, Verwayne attempted to jump over the rails of the court balcony. He, was however, restrained by a police officer.


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