After spending close to six (6) years on remand at the Richmond Hill Prison in connection with the March 2016 murder of his 15-year-old sister-in-law Brittney Baptiste, Demlyn Murray, 50, was last week Friday convicted of Capital Murder in a unanimous verdict handed down by a 12-member Jury at the end of his second trial at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court.
The convicted felon, who is married to the sister of the deceased teenager, now faces the death penalty, which is the maximum sentence for Capital Murder in the law books.
‘Dumpling’ is due back in court for Sentencing on May 23 by senior High Court Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford.
Before his arrest in March 2016, the Mardi Gras, St. David resident, also known as ‘Dumpling’ worked at the St. George’s General Hospital and as a garbage collector.
Justice Gilford will seek to impose a sentence that will bring some form of closure to the case surrounding the brutal murder of the former Happy Hill Secondary School student, who was strangled to death and dumped in the nearby bushes within proximity to her home in the same village.
An autopsy conducted on the body of the student, which was discovered by residents three (3) days after she went missing on March 21, 2016, determined that she died as a result of strangulation.
In November 2018, Madam Justice Gilford declared a mistrial in the case, after a jury failed to reach a verdict in ‘Dumpling’s first Murder trial in the face of the Prosecution’s contention that the accused murdered the school girl, to avoid a rape charge that she filed against him in December 2015 for which he was awaiting trial.
Murray, who was 48 years old at the time of the teenager’s death, had retained the services of senior defense attorney George Prime to assist him.
However, he was represented by female attorney-at-law Herricia Willis during his retrial, which commenced before Madam Justice Gilford on February 10.
Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Nelson, QC, who led the State’s case for a second time, called 15 witnesses, some of whom hinted to the court that on the day Brittney went missing, she was seen in the company of ‘Dumpling’, within proximity to her home.
‘Dumpling’s conviction will go down in history as the second to occur since the concept of indictable Capital and Non-Capital Murder charges were introduced to the criminal landscape when the Criminal Code was revised in 2012.
In December 2019, a 12-member jury handed down a guilty verdict against 19 year-old Frequente teenager, Twely Joseph for the November 2017 brutal death of 8 year-old Ariel Bhola, days before her ninth birthday, when his trial concluded before Madam Justice Gilford in December 2019.
Sexual crimes with the under-aged have long been a scourge in the Grenadian society, and have in recent years dominated the list of matters coming up for adjudication before the St. George’s High Court.