…for attempted murderAs prison escapee Stafrei Alexander turned up at the High Court on Thursday for his sentencing — after a jury found him guilty of the attempted murder of Curtis Thom last month — presiding judge Justice Brassington Reynolds announced that the accused would have to undergo another trial.Stafrei AlexanderPrior to deliberations on October 30, it was discovered that one of the jurors was below the age of 18. That juror was duly discharged, and the remaining 11 deliberated and found Alexander guilty by a 9-2 proportion for the March 23, 2015 attempted murder of Curtis Thom. However, Justice Reynolds conceded on Thursday that he had “erroneously” formed the opinion that a verdict of such proportion could be accepted by the court.His new contention was guided by his review of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, Chapter 10:01, Laws of Guyana. It was observed that a 10-1 verdict would have been acceptable.After the revelations, Alexander’s attorney Stanley Moore, SC, stated that the jury should be discharged, and Prosecutor Tiffini Lyken concurred, further observing that the State shares the opinion that the verdict was improper and/or invalid. Justice Reynolds thereafter discharged the 11 remaining jury members, and ruled that Alexander’s case ended in a hung jury, as the court could not properly receive a 9-2 verdict.Stafrei Alexander is an inmate who had fled lawful custody multiple times, and he was accused of the attempted murder of fellow Laing Avenue, Georgetown resident Curtis Thom by way of discharging a loaded firearm I his direction. Thom was shot hours after his daughter’s christening. The court had heard that based on his beliefs, Thom proceeded to walk into his home backwards after the christening, when Alexander mumbled remarks and pointed a gun at him. Thom was shot twice, and was hospitalised for seven weeks, during which he obtained surgery to correct his injuries.Based on the account of an expert witness, a .38 revolver was the firearm of choice on the night in question, but the prosecution disclosed that the weapon used was not found.Alexander, who is also known as Stafrei Hopkinson Alexander was apprehended in late July after a special operation in Berbice. This came weeks after he had fled the Camp Street Penitentiary during an inferno around the same time when several prisoners, including death row inmate and Bartica mass killer Mark Royden “Smallie” Williams and now dead former Policeman and prisoner Uree Varswyck had fled. Prison officer Odinga Wickham was killed during that ordeal, which flattened the century-old sections of the jail.At the time of his arrest, Alexander was said to have been receiving medical attention for an existing wound. Alexander had previously fled lawful custody for six months before finally being recaptured at Kurupukari Crossing in the Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) in May 2016.
A local chaplain and part-time pastor at C3 Church Vancouver is accused of possessing child pornography.Randolph B. Warneke, 66, appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.According to its website, Warneke is a chaplain, assistant director of operations and board member for Community Military Appreciation Committee, a civic nonprofit group that holds community events and recognizes and supports military families.He is an at-large pastor for C3 Church and serves as chaplain for Pointman Ministry and Veterans Victory Chapel. Warneke also serves as a chaplain and board member for the Korean War Veterans Association; vice chair and board member for Clark County Veterans Advisory Board; and a board member for CDM Services, according to CMAC’s website.Warneke allegedly sent an image via email in his Google account July 12, and Google identified it as child pornography and disabled his account. The image depicted two children, who appeared to be younger than 10, engaged in sexual acts, a probable cause affidavit states.The following day, Google contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the image and provided Warneke’s account information. The tip was later assigned to the Vancouver Police Department’s Digital Evidence Cybercrime Unit, court records show.