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Convicted killer’s sentence reduced from 66 to 24 years by Appeal Court 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 December 2020, 16:55 by Denis Chabrol

Mark Assing

A man, who was sentenced to 66 years imprisonment for murdering a woman during a fight over a rooster has received a sentence reduction by the  Guyana Court of Appeal.

Mark Assing called ‘Jessie’, now 48 years old, was convicted in 2014 for the June 2012 murder of Mc Doom, East Bank Demerara resident Ms. Abiola Eadie.

In handing down its ruling on Tuesday, December 01, 2020, the Court of Appeal substituted the man’s murder conviction with the lesser count of manslaughter. The Court further reduced his 66-year jail sentence to 24 years.

Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonette Cummings-Edwards in delivering the ruling, among other things, noted that Justice Singh made several errors in law during the trial proceedings.

Among them was that Justice Cummings-Edwards pointed out that the trial Judge made errors while summing up the evidence to the jury and failed to adequately put Assing’s case to the jury for consideration.

According to reports, Assing and Ms. Eadie were involved in a heated argument over a rooster, known locally as ‘fowl cock’,  when he pulled out a gun and shot at her. The woman died while receiving treatment at GPHC.

Abiola Eadie

Following a guilty verdict by the jury, trial Judge Navindra Singh imposed a 66 years jail sentence and ordered that the convict only becomes eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 30 years.

Assing, through his lawyer Mr Glenn Hanoman, appealed his sentence and conviction. Mr Hanoman contended that the trial Judge did not adequately put his client’s defence to the jury.

The lawyer argued that Justice Singh failed to put the defence of provocation to the jury, although it arose in the circumstances of the case.

The defence lawyer noted that if this had been done, it could have led to the jury returning a guilty verdict for the lesser count of manslaughter.

Apart from the Chancellor, Justices of Appeal Rishi Persaud and Dawn Gregory also deliberated on the case.

State Counsel Diana Kaulesar-O’Brien appeared for the Prosecution