Update: Gunmen fire assault rifles to facilitate escape of Bartica massacre murder convict from Mazaruni Prison

Last Updated on Friday, 19 May 2023, 17:47 by Denis Chabrol

ESCAPEE: Mark Royden Durant also known as Royden Williams called “Smallie”.

Convicted mass murderer Mark Royden Durant also known as Royden Williams, and “Smallie’ escaped while being escorted back from a visit, with the aid of heavily armed accomplices in a speedboat at Mazaruni Prison around 2:30 PM Friday, the Home Affairs Ministry said.

The escort party was fired upon with AK-47 automatic rifles from the boat alongside the Mazaruni River during the transfer and during the resulting reported exchange of gunfire, Williams made good his escape, the ministry said.
The boat and its occupants proceeded upstream, past Itaballi landing, while prison guards and police in support undertook pursuit.

Additionally, members of the Joint Services have been mobilized to effect the recapture of Williams and to capture and or arrest his accomplices, government said.

A preliminary investigation is underway, and persons are being questioned in relation to this extremely serious incident, the Home Ministry said.

Williams has been convicted of murders stemming from the Bartica massacre in 2008, when he, along with other gunmen, ambushed and killed 12 persons, including three policemen.

Additionally, he had been sentenced to death in September last year over the killing on January 23rd, 2008, of Guyana Defence Force member Corporal Ivor Williams.

Royden Williams had previously escaped from the Camp Street Prison on July 09th, 2017 but was recaptured on October 10th, 2017, on the Weldaad Public Road, West Coast Berbice.

The Joint Services and other Security personnel are on high alert. All citizens in the Mazaruni and surrounding areas are hereby advised to take precautions and remain vigilant as the persons sought are armed and are considered as being extremely dangerous.

It should be noted that aiding and abetting a prison escapee can result in three or more years imprisonment when or if convicted, the Home Affairs Ministry said.

Details on the search for Williams and his accomplices will be provided as they emerge.

It is not the first time that Williams has escaped from jail, having done so during a riot at the Georgetown Prison in July, 2017. He was captured months later while travelling in a minibus.

In 2013, a High Court judge and jury found him not guilty for murders in the 2008 Lusignan massacre.