Farmer confessed to burning body of fruit thief released on $1M bail

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD) farmer who confessed to burning and burying the body of 22-year-old Shakeel John who was electrocuted on his farm back in November 2023 was released on $1 million station bail.

This was according to Crime Chief, Wendell Blahnum who also told Inews that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack has requested that further investigation be conducted into the murder.

Two Sundays ago, a teenager of Inner Bagotville WBD visited the La Grange Police Station and reported that in November 2023, he and two others including John colluded to go and steal citrus fruits from a farm in Cone Shop Street La Grange WBD.

He stated that as they approached the first farm, they were confronted by the owner, who chased them with a cutlass. They did not stop there; they instead went to a second farm and upon scaling a mesh fence, they heard John scream out “ahh”.

At that time, they realized that he was being shocked by some sort of electricity on the fence. As a result, he and his accomplice took a piece of wood and attempted to remove John from the fence but in the process, he too received shock to his foot.

Attempts to remove Johns proved futile and as such, they hid behind a mango tree until the next morning.

However, as the place began to get bright, they saw the owner of the farm picking fruits and stumbled upon John’s body that was lying on the ground.

“He walked out back to the front and returned with a sheet in his hands, wrapped up Shaquille dragged him more into the farm and disappeared,” the young man told detectives.

Upon seeing this, the two young men waited a while but as they were heading out of the farm, his accomplice reportedly threatened to kill him if he reported the matter.

Upon receiving this information, one day after, a team of police along with the teenager went to the farm where they contacted the owner, a 59-year-old man of Unity Street La Grange, WBD.

The teen then took the ranks to the area where John was electrocuted. Whilst there, the farmer admitted that he had demolished his old fence and erected a new fence with barbed wire. The was nevertheless taken into custody.

In addition, the teenager was interviewed by members of the Child Care and Protection Agency at De Willem, West Coast Demerara (WCD) during which he related the exact story he told the police.

Human bones

Later in the day, police acting on information received revisited the farm where they discovered human bones in a clump of bushes suspected to be that of John.

They proceeded to the home of the farmer where they observed an electrical cable strapped to a coconut tree in the front of his yard.

Further, they observed metal wire on the fence running in a manner that would facilitate the flow of a negative and a positive independent electrical line.

In addition, they stumbled upon an area that appeared to be a fire heap which contained pieces of burnt tyres. Upon closer inspection, they discovered several human bones, including a human skull.

Police stated that the skull had what appeared to be fire damage, and the bones were scattered across the fire heap, with some bones of the limbs being scattered more than 40 feet of the fire heap.

Additionally, pieces of burnt denim jeans and a piece of male underwear were discovered.

Confession

Meanwhile, during interrogation, the farmer allegedly confessed that he had placed an electricity rod on his fence to ward off thieves who would constantly invade his property.

He reportedly told investigations, “Sometime late November last year because I come home one afternoon from wuk and see one a den hook up once fence like he get electrocute. I tek he off and I recognize is Buta… I drag he pon de next land and I use some tire fuh burn he, I tell you de truth I didn’t kill this man he done dead.”