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Girlfriend killer pleads guilty

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Suspect Sylvester Tarpeh Davies, has pleaded guilty for murdering his girlfriend, the late Sonnie Tipayson, at her father’s residence in Paity Town, Bushrod Island last November.

Having pleaded guilty, the trial court however did not immediately enter judgment, but rather placed the burden on prosecutors to prove defendant Davies’ guilt for murdering his girlfriend, maintaining that said justice could only be done in [such] case when parties have the right to trial [by jurors].

The accused murderer wept endlessly in open court on Monday, February 23, 2015 as he came face-to-face with family members of the late Sonnie, including her mother and father, Mr. Eric Tipayson in the courtroom.

He is indicted for murder, a first degree felony, and the Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has begun hearing the dreadful testimony into how defendant Davies executed his lover Sonnie’s murder right in her parents’ house on 28 November 2014.

The indictment details how the defendant placed the lifeless body of the victim in her father’s clothes barrel, covered it and placed clothes over it. He allegedly murdered the victim at a time she was four months pregnant, the indictment further reveals.

A state witness from the Crime Services Division of the Liberia National Police, Jerry Wymah, testified that defendant Davies was arrested in Damba Town, Grand Cape Mount County where he had gone in hiding after committing the murder in Monrovia.

Upon being brought to Monrovia on December 7, 2015, witness Wymah said investigation commenced the next day, December 8 in the presence of the suspect’s counsel. Suspect Davies blamed his act on the “work of the devil; and pleaded for God’s forgiveness.

According to Officer Wymah, Davies further narrated that on  27th November, he had gone to victim Sonnie’s house in Paity Town when she allegedly told him their relationship was over, continuing that when he knelt down to beg her, she insisted that he should leave.

On the 28th of November, defendant Davies returned and begged the late Sonnie, but he said she did not pay attention.

It was at this point, according to witness Wymah that the defendant took money and gave it to the two kids, who were in the house with victim Sonnie, including her five years old son, only identified as Favor, and her eight years old sister, Komassay, asking them to go and buy kala or a fried bread on the main road.

While the kids were away, witness Wymah said scuffle ensued between Sonnie and defendant Davies at which time he took a stick and hit her on the neck.

The witness said the victim then fell on the ground and the accused took her, violently strangulated her and placed her in a blue barrel where her father kept his clothes.

The witness said defendant Davies’ statement was reduced into writing in the presence of his counsel, and the witness was seen in court identifying and testifying to instruments, including a photo, showing a decomposed image of the victim, the barrel in which he placed her, police charged sheet and the statement he said defendant Davies had signed.

However, Officer Wymah is due to produce his identity in court today to show that he is an employee of the Liberia National Police based on prosecutors’ request.

The State made the request after lawyers from the Public Defenders’ office of Montserrado County asked witness Wymah if he had his Police ID Card to display in court, just nearing the end of their cross-examination of the first State witness.

The witness had said he left his identity in his bag at his office. The court is expected to hear testimonies from a number of witnesses, including victim Sonnie’s father Mr. Tipayson, and two police officers, among others. The trial continues at 9:30 am today.

By Winston W. Parley

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