October 23, 2021

INFO 10

THE TRUTH IN BLACK AND WHITE

GECOM arson accused gets bail

  • Roy Marshall maintains he had nothing to do with the fire

Former Community Development Officer Byron Kendell, who was charged and remanded for unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to GECOM’s Wismar office in 2020, was recently released on bail from the High Court, police sources confirmed.

Speaking on the matter in an exclusive interview with INFO 10, was Mr. Roy Marshall, who police had alleged was the master mind behind the fire and provided the funds for the job to be executed. Marshall was released from custody after vigorous interrogation at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for four days, without being charged. Marshall claimed that investigators revealed to him that Kendall confessed in prison to lying on him and so they had no choice but to release him.

Marshall said he was shown a video footage of Kendell’s interview and with confidence Kendell claimed it was Marshall who approached him about setting the building on fire and then handed him a package that contained $150,000, to pay the persons who executed the act. The two persons who police said allegedly confessed to setting the building on fire, and are still remanded are Marlon Hunter and Teon February. “ In the interview and this is the most integral part of everything, Byron kendell said and I quote, ‘My name is Byron Kendell, I am the CDO; after the election, I realised nothing not gon go on for me, a gon lose mah job and a day I just sit down jussa and Roy Marshall, the Regional Chairman driver come to me and say aye Moogie, this thing can’t go down suh, place gotta blaze and I turn and point to the GECOM building and said, that gotta bun and I get a package hay for you. In the package get $150.000 to pay the men them $75,000, $75,000’,” Marshall quoted, as what he saw Kendell saying on the video interview.

Marshall said he became flabbergasted at what he was being accused of and questioned whether Kendell was pressured or coerced into making such a confession, which implicated him into something he knows nothing about. Marshall said he vehemently denied the allegations, as he never had such a conversation with Kendell or anyone else. He also denied ever delivering a package to Kendell with monies at any time. When asked what he believed would have prompted Kendell to make such a claim, Marshall said he believes Kendell envies him. Marshall disclosed that on the fourth day of being in custody, investigators informed him and that Kendell allegedly confessed to lying on Marshall in the previous interview; but stated he has a witness that saw Marshall deliver the package to him. “My response was, I am happy that God would have placed in his heart for him to speak the truth…….then I politely asked the officer, if a person can go to that limit to lie on an individual, what other credibility can you have in such a person and I think for that moment I may have paralised the panel with that response,” Marshall said. He said he was immediately released from custody.

Most terrifying night of my life

Going back to the night he was arrested, Marshall said it was the most terrifying night of his life and that of his family, that still has his five-year-old son jumping out of his sleep. He said it was a day he would never forget. He would have already retired to bed when he heard knocking on the front door. His wife related to him that two policemen were standing in the yard with long guns and six were standing on his patio. He then identified himself as William Roy Marshall and then was told, ‘We are here to arrest you’. When he and his wife inquired on what he was being arrested for, no answer was forthcoming but was told he is being taken to the Mackenzie Police Station.

Marshall said he inquired from the arresting officers in the vehicle if it was something political, since all his life he worked for politicians. He was only told that orders came from Georgetown to arrest him. Marshall said it was only after he was being booked at the Linden Highway Police Patrol, that he found out he was being arrested for arson. Even at this time, no allegation was formerly put to him. Marshall said he slept at the Highway Patrol before being transported to CID the next day. His interrogation, he said, started in the car and it was only then, the allegation was formerly put to him. AT CID, he said, investigators were very professional in their interrogation, but were very vigorous. The posture taken he said, caused him to realise that Kendall was not pressured into implicating him.

Marshall said he was convicted to prison for trafficking narcotics over 30 years ago and since he was released on parole, he tried earnestly to stay on the clean path by converting to Islam.

Marshall is calling for a public apology from the Guyana Police Force since he alleges that the principles and practices governing an arrest were not followed. “My rights were not read, the refusal to say what I was being arrested for, for taking me out of the jurisdiction and so I am calling for an apology for the   vicious arrest, insult to my name, almost defamation of my character, along with other things. It still hurts, my wife and children are affected greatly in the night. My son is still jumping out of his sleep,” he related.