GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jul 16, CMC – Five men, including two bank employees and two policemen, were slapped with charges of attempted robbery and gun and ammunition possession when they appeared in court on Friday following the July 4 attempted robbery at Republic Bank.
During the lengthy bail hearing, the five men – Jamal Haynes, Keron Saunders, Gladston George, Anfernee Blackman and Shawn Grimmond – were jointly charged with attempted robbery.
Haynes, who was employed at Republic Bank, pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery charges while the other four accused pleaded not guilty.
Haynes was sentenced to two years in prison on the attempted robbery charge while the other four young men were remanded to prison until August 11th.
Haynes was slapped with five other charges including discharging a loaded firearm with intent to cause injury and bodily harm, possession of ammunition, possession of firearm without being a licensed firearm holder and holding a bank employee hostage.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges of discharging a loaded firearm and robbery.
However, he entered guilty pleas on the other three charges and was fined a total of GUY$280,000 and sentenced to two additional four year jail terms for the possession of firearm and ammunition charges.
He will also have to pay a $100,000 fine on the third charge and will serve an additional six months in prison. His two-year sentence on the attempted armed robbery charge will run consecutively and will see him spending a total of six years in prison.
The Chief Magistrate told Haynes that he was not given the maximum sentence for the offenses since he entered a guilty plea.
Haynes in his explanation to the Court said that he did not know the other co accused, except Saunders.
He also identified his best friend, Elton Wray, who was killed during the attempted robbery, as the mastermind of the heist.
“I did not plan the robbery. My friend who is now deceased had a lot of information on the bank. I thought we were going to rob somebody who had a lot of money in the ATM. It wasn’t until we went to the ATM that I became aware that we were going to rob the night safe,” he told the court.
According to the Police Prosecutor, Haynes helped to plan the robbery and was expected to identify a fellow bank employee to the others who would have had the bag of cash deposits made over the weekend.
The Prosecution claimed that Blackman – a policeman, supplied the guns that were used, George – another policeman – was tipped to drive the getaway car and Grimmond a bank employee was the inside man who provided information to the others.
The Prosecutor claimed Haynes implicated the two policemen and his fellow bank employee but Haynes denied the accusation.
The other co-accused Keron Saunders, faced separate charges of being in possession of ammunition and a firearm.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges and claimed that he was acting under the influence of Wray and only learnt of the plan to rob the bank minutes before it occurred.