DPP discontinues murder charge against Frm. Best Cop

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Former Best Cop Derwin Eastman was on Monday released from prison, almost three years after he was committed to stand trial at the Demerara High Court for the murder of businessman Godfrey Scipio also called “Saga”, who was gunned down while leaving a city hotel back in 2017.

The release was possible after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Senior Counsel Shalimar Ali-Hack discontinued the murder charge against the Former Detective Corporal. Inews understands that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution.

Eastman and former Police Constable Jamison Williams were jointly charged with the October 17, 2017 murder of the 64-year-old man.

From (L): Murder accused: Former Best Cop Derwin Eastman, Aubrey Bobb, and Freed: Jamison Williams

At the end of a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, Magistrate Fabayo Azore ruled that a prima facie case was established against Eastman for the crime.

Accordingly, she committed him to stand trial before a Judge and jury for the capital offence at the next practicable sitting of the Demerara Assizes. On the other hand, the charge against Williams was discharged due to insufficient evidence. As such, he was informed by the Magistrate that he was free to go.

In November 2020, Magistrate Azore ruled that a prima facie case was made out against Eastman and Williams at the close of the prosecution’s case. In reply, Eastman and Williams opted to lead their defences.

Throughout the PI, Eastman was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels, while Attorney-at-Law Dexter Todd appeared on behalf of Williams. Also charged for Scipio’s murder is Aubrey Bobb, an ex-convict of Kitty, Georgetown.

Bobb was the first to be charged and later implicated the two former policemen in a caution statement he had given to detectives. In 2019, Bobb was committed to stand trial at the High Court for the businessman’s murder after a Magistrate found there was sufficient evidence against him.

Murdered, Godfrey Scipio called “Saga”

According to reports, Scipio also known as “Saga” was gunned down just as he exited a popular Kitty hotel with a female companion during the furtherance of a robbery. He later succumbed at the Woodlands Hospital. Bobb, in a caution statement, reportedly told Police that Eastman was the mastermind behind the brazen daylight killing.

He accused Eastman of hiring him as the hitman and providing him with the gun. Eastman reportedly had everything planned out, even assuring the hitman that a lady would deliver the target to the spot while directing that the killing be executed in such a way as to appear like a robbery gone wrong.

Notwithstanding the assurance of protection given by Eastman, reality struck when Bobb returned home the next day to find Eastman, in the company of other Police ranks, ready to arrest him.

Bobb had claimed that he was forced to confess to the crime as he was intimidated by Eastman, who was present at every step of the interrogation. Eastman was adjudged the Guyana Police Force’s Best Cop on several occasions.