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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Court sentences man to 47 years in prison for murder

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

The Judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County has sentenced a man to 47 years in prison for murder.

The verdict comes days after the man, Moses Mlarmah entered a guilty plea and asked for mercy for the gruesome murder of commercial motorcyclist Mordacious Nyema in Maryland County, southeast Liberia.

The late Nyema was a student of the Pleebo High School in Pleebo District, Maryland County.

On Monday, June 6, 2022, Judge George S. Wiles announced the sentence after the trial jury had on June 1st handed down a unanimous guilty verdict against Defendant Mlarmah, despite his earlier guilty plea and request for mercy.

According to information, during the course of the investigation, Mlarmah admitted to committing the murder and named his accomplices as Leo Williams, Jeremiah Appleton alias “Open Zipper”, and Francis Kla Nyema.

They were arrested by the Liberia National Police, but after investigation the trio denied the allegation.

Meanwhile, during sentencing on Monday, Judge Wiles invited the Ministry of Justice through its Correction Superintendent at the Zwedru Correction Palace to provide information about the defendant’s character.

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Judge Wiles said during sentencing: “Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, unanimous guilty against convict Mlarmah and circumstances thereof, the unanimous guilty of the jurors is hereby affirmed, and confirmed that the jurors’ verdict against convict Mlarmah is adjudged for the crime of murder.”

He said in the statute, the maximum sentence for a murderer is life imprisonment, while the minimum sentence is left with the Judge’s discretion.

Judge Wiles added that after Convict Mlarmah shall have served 30 years in prison, he shall be allowed to be placed on parole based on good behavior from the prison facility.

The 7th Judicial Circuit Court Judge noted that the 47 years imprisonment given to the convict will serve as “deterrence to others who are involved in unlawfully and criminally taking human lives.”

Convict Mlarmah was indicted during the February A.D 2021 term of court on April 16, 2021, at the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Maryland County for the crime of murder and criminal conspiracy. But the trial was transferred to the 7th Judicial Circuit Court Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

The killing of the motorcyclist, a student of the Pleebo High School led to riots in the streets of Pleebo and Harper. The situation prompted the imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew by President George Weah.

The main prison in Harper was vandalized, paving the way for about hundred prisoners to escape although many were later rearrested. The residence of House Speaker Bohfal Chambers’ in Pleebo was also set ablaze during the melee.

According to the police charge sheet, from March 25 to April 7, 2021, a special investigation team arrested defendants Jeremiah Appleton alias (Open Zipper), Francis Kla Nyema, Leo K. Williams and Alice Davis, thoroughly investigated them, and subsequently charged them with murder.

During police investigation to establish how the motorcyclist was killed, it was revealed that on Thursday, March 25, 2021at about 9: 45 am, then 22-year-old Suspect Moses Mlarmah, a resident of Pleebo City lured the late Mordacious Nyema into the MOPP palm plantation under the guise of going for a load (two tin of Palm Oil and two heads of banana). The investigation established that Suspect Mlarmah rode on the deceased’s motorbike to the Palm plantation where upon their arrival, he (Moses Mlarmah) pulled out a cutlass and chopped the deceased several times on his neck and the head which led to his death. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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