One of seven men indicted for allegedly armed robbing Abijoudi and Azar Trading Corporation, defendant Darius Brown, has pleaded guilty to the charges at Criminal Court “D” after the indictment was read to him and his six other alleged accomplices on Monday September 12.
But defendants Leequoi Sharpe, Frederick R. Walker, Tony Jamal, Henry Flomo, David Sengbah and Eric Randall all pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
Prosecutors said the indictees armed robbed the Corporation’s black Nissan Almera Sedan vehicle carrying US$125,000 to Ecobank Liberia Vai Town branch on 14 November 2015 when defendant Walker held the vehicle operator, Faith Cooper, at gunpoint at the main gate of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation on Bushrod Island.
Following defendant Brown’s guilty plea on Monday, presiding Criminal Court “D” Judge Sakajipo A. Wollor ruled that a special trial, which is scheduled for today Tuesday, 13 September be arraigned to separate the indictee from the rest of his alleged accomplices.
Tuesday’s hearing will determine defendant Brown’s fate as per his plead of guilt to the armed robbery charge which is a capital offense here. Already, the indictees have waived jury trial, thus allowing Judge Wollor alone to sit over the trial of the remaining six defendants who pleaded not guilty.
They are accused to have pursued Abijaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation’s vehicle with license plate PC- 30379, placed the operator at gunpoint, handcuff him to the steering, discharged the pistol and forcibly took away US$125,000 kept in a black bag.
The State said the vehicle was headed for the Ecobank Vai Town Branch on Bushrod Island to deliver a consignment of US$125,000 when the accused persons carried out the attack. Defendant Walker was allegedly dressed in police uniform during the attack and pulled the vehicle over at the main gate of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation on Bushrod Island, over claims that the operator had hit a pedestrian.
After Monday’s hearing, prosecution had requested for continuance until Thursday to prepare its witnesses, but the court said it was shocking, given that the State had been advocating for speedy trial. The hearing has been assigned for Tuesday, 13 September at 10am.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen