Guyana: School Girl To Be Charged with Murder

The fire broke out in the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School in Guyana
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A secondary school girl in Guyana, who allegedly caused the death of 19 of her schoolmates when she set the dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School ablaze last Saturday, will be charged with murder.

Head of the Criminal Investigations Department in Guyana Assistant Police Commissioner Wendell Blanhum said the department arrived at this decision following legal advice.

“Legal advice was obtained to charge the suspect with 19 counts of murder,” Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Assistant Police Commissioner Wendell Blanhum said.

Earlier in the week, police had alleged that the girl who, government sources say was communicating with a man, started the fire after the dorm mother and a teacher seized her phone Saturday night.

The girl is older than 14 years old and would be charged as an adult, although Guyana’s juvenile law prohibits the naming of accused or convicted children.

DNA results of the unrecognized remains have since been returned, confirming their identities.

Priya Manickchand, Guyana’s Minister of Education, has named the victims as Tracil Thomas, Lisa Roberts, Delecia Edwards, Lorita Williams, Natalie Bellarmine, Arriana Edwards, Cleoma Simon, Subrina John, Martha Dandrade, Loreen Evans, Belnisa Evans, Mary Dandrade, Omerfia Edwin, Nickleen Robinson, Sherena Daniels, Eulander Carter, Andrea Roberts and Rita Jeffrey.

The lone male victim was five-year-old Adanye Jerome, son of the dorm mother.

The bodies would be handed over to the families for burial and government has pledged its unlimited assistance to the families and survivors.

The Guyana President Irfaan Ali has promised a Commission of Inquiry into the fire, and the main opposition party has since demanded that it and other stakeholders be involved in the selection of the members of the Commission and crafting the terms of reference.

According to the opposition, this, will allow for broad acceptance and credibility of the process.


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