Following weeks of deliberation behind closed door, jurors at the 9th Judicial Circuit in Gbarnga, Bong County yesterday emerged in court with an unanimous guilty verdict against Moses Porkpah, who killed his wife recently in the Cow Farm Community in the county. Shortly after jurors announced the guilty verdict, the County Attorney, Wilkins Nathan, told the Daily Observer that the court will make the final ruling tomorrow, Wednesday, to determine the next fate of the murderer.
Yesterday’s verdict followed testimonies from state witnesses and cross examinations from both prosecution and defense lawyers in the Porkpah case. According to Presiding Judge Roosevelt Willie, the final legal argument was arranged for Monday (yesterday) because the defense counsel prayed the court to reschedule the final argument to grant the defendant ample time to consult with the defense team. After the reading of the indictment by the grand jury on Thursday, September 7, to defendant Porkpah, he admitted to the commission of the crime of murder, and pleaded for forgiveness. But in line with the court’s proceedings, Judge Willie requested the state to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, the defendant’s involvement, despite his own admission to the crime.
Wilkins Nah prayed the court to sentence the defendant to life imprisonment since he had admitted to killing his wife, Doris Nahn, but the application was not granted. Taking the witness stand earlier on Thursday, the third state witness Amos Nushan, one of those who was shot by Moses Porkpah resulting to the amputation of his leg, informed the court that Moses shot and killed his wife on June 1 in Cow Farm, Zota District, Bong County. However, testifying in his own defense, defendant Porkpah told the court that he shot and killed his wife because of resentment, adding, “I did not intend to kill her, but because she had planned to return to her former boyfriend in Monrovia, conflicting to our previous plan not to break the relationship, upset me to shoot her.”
It can be recalled that on June 1, Porkpah, a hunter, shot and killed his wife Doris Nahn with a single barrel gun for not giving him sufficient portion of the food she had cooked that day. He escaped the scene creating insecurity for the people in the district. Porkpah was arrested on August 27, by the townspeople of Gbarnga-Siaquelleh at about 11:45 p.m. when he went to purchase food items after spending more than two months on the run. The residents turned him over to officers of the the Liberia National Police, who also turned him over to the court for prosecution. Under the Liberian law, murder is a first-degree felony, so since Porkpah is found guilty, he will be sentenced to life imprisonment and may serve his sentence either in the Zwedru Corrections Palace in Grand Gedeh County or at the Monrovia Central Prison.
At the jammed packed court on Thursday, many of the residents called on the national government to reintroduce “punishment by firing squad for murder convicts” to serve as a deterrent to people who would want to commit murder.