Ghanian goes to jail for 20 years for murdering wife in LAC
Story by Folo-Glagba Korkolie - 10/6/09
Culled from Allafrica.com
Grand Bassa -- A 38-year old Ghanaian identified as Anthony Mensah, who claimed to be a former teacher of St Joseph Catholic High School, at the Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) in District #3 in Grand Bassa County has been found guilty of murdering his wife and sentenced to jail for twenty years.
He is to serve the prison term as of 2008 when he was arrested for committing the crime.
Mr. Mensah, who was also an officer at the Plant Protection Division of LAC, received the guilty verdict of the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Grand Bassa county following final judgment of the assigned Judge, CLLR. Samuel Geevon Smith, on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
The Grand Jury of the Court sitting in its February Term of Court, 2009, indicted defendant Mensah for the commission of the crime of murder, a felony of the first degree.
The state represented by the Ministry of Justice and all prosecuting attorneys with Grand Bassa County Attorney, John David present in court, complained that in violation of chapter 14, sub-chapter 14.1, a and b Revised Panel Code of Liberia on August 18, 2008, in Nahn Camp in LAC Plantation, the defendant caused the death of his wife, Mamie P. Mensah by severely squeezing her neck, thus killing her instantly during a fight between them.
Attorney David further narrated that the act was done with malice and pre-meditation without the fear of God and respect for human life.
When the case was called for trial during the August 2009 Term of Court on the 18th instant, the defendant pleaded indigent upon which the court appointed public defense counsels including Cllr. Joseph A. Sekum and Attorney Paul PHILIP Jarvan to give him a legal representation.
The indictment was later read to the defendant by the Clerk of the court, MR. Henry Garsaynee, II, to which he pleaded not guilty. To prove the allegation against the defendant, Attorney David produced six state witnesses.
The witnesses included the CID Commander of the grand Bassa Police Detachment, Inspector Alexander Sangblor, who investigated the crime scene, Miss Laurina Preston, daughter of the deceased, who testified to the threat previous made by the defendant to harm their mother. Miss Dehyoncon Mensah, another daughter of the deceased also testified to the defendant squeezing the neck of the deceased during a fight in their room at LAC Plantation.
Other state witnesses, including Morris Kpor, an employee of LAC, who served as chairman of the 15-man Coroner Jury who inspected the body of the late Mamie P. Mensah testified that he discovered squeezing marks on the neck of the deceased. Mr. Sangbah Tolnoe, another resident of Nahn Camp said during the fight between the couple, she ran to call their camp master, but upon her return the lady was already dead.
The prosecution produced the Police Charge Sheet, coroner jury reports, as evidence and rested the production of evidence.
Testifying on his own behalf, defendant Mensah mentioned that he and his late wife only tussled over a bag of rice he decided to divide between he and her The defense counsels produced two other witnesses in persons of Messrs, Wisconsin Willie who testified that they saw groups of people rushing to the Mensah's house, while a LAC-PPD officer Isaac Cooke said upon his arrival at the crime scene, he saw the lady unconscious.
With the testimonies of the defendant and the two defense witnesses, the defense lawyers rested with the production of their evidence.
During the final argument the prosecution and defense lawyers cited relevant laws in support of their arguments.
The prosecution argued that sufficient evidence has been adduced to establish a prima facie case against the defendant, while the defense vehemently argued that the state has failed to prove the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Following lengthy deliberations, the Trial Jury returned with a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder against the defendant in keeping with the requirement of the statue.
Based on this verdict, Judge Smith rendered the final judgment and pronounced the sentence which he also confirmed.
However, the defense council took exception to the ruling of the judge and announced an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia, which the judge noted.