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High Court frees schoolboy of murder, State appeals

Samuel Cornelius being escorted to a cell in the High Court pending the payment of bail pending the hearing and determination of an appeal by the State.

The High Court on Tuesday freed a 19-year old man, who was charged with the murder of his lessons classmate, on the basis of no-case submissions but the Prosecution immediately appealed the case.

Justice Diana Insanally then granted Samuel Cornelius GUY$300,000 bail pending the commencement of the appeal.

Cornelius is accused of stabbing to death Anfernee Bowman in February 27, 2012 at Aubrey Barker Road, South Ruimveldt shortly after they had left Mathematics lessons. He allegedly committed the offence when he was 17 years old.

After Insanally directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, State Prosecutor Natasha Backer appealed the case.

Defence Lawyer, Mark Waldron told Demerara Waves Online News that he argued that the evidence did not point to intent on the part of Cornelius. Based on a key eyewitness statement that he said the prosecution had withheld until last week Friday, he said Cornelius had refused an invitation by Bowman to fight.

The witness stated that although Bowman had been discouraged from fighting, he pursued Cornelius and stabbed him on his left arm and elbow. Waldron said that they two scuffled and Cornelius held on to Bowman’s hand with the weapon- an ice pick- and he was injured.

“The prosecution did not discharge the statutory burden of negativing the defence of self-defence… You have to prove that the accused intended to kill or intended to cause grievous bodily harm,”  said Waldron.

Bowman was subsequently taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where he succumbed to his injuries.

The two boys had engaged in a dispute over a girl.