The 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Bomi County on Tuesday, March 17 brought down a guilty verdict of Murder against Jonathan Willaims who was held liable for killing Super FM Journalist, Tyron Brown, on the night of April 15, 2018, in Monrovia.
When this incident occurred, Jonathan Williams was most of the time seen in the court without remorse for his action but smiling and, in some instances, treated preferentially by the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the court. The court’s decision was reached by Judge Nancy Sammie, who presided over the trial that lasted for over two weeks.
Judge Sammy has also scheduled the sentencing of Williams for Monday, March 23.
The case was transferred from Criminal Court ‘A’ in Monrovia to Bomi County after Williams’ lawyers argued that the victim was a journalist and a resident of Montserrado and that families, colleagues, and other concern people would influence the jurors’ decision in the case.
Before Judge Sammy’s guilty verdict, the prosecution had earlier asked for life imprisonment, though it is not clear whether the judge would accept their plea when she delivers the sentence on Monday.
The defense team, however, has rejected Judge Sammy’s guilty verdict and openly announced an appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court.
Jonathan Williams on March 6, 2020, admitted in an open court that he stabbed the victim three times, but insisted it was done in ‘self-defense.’
It may also be recalled that in 2018, Defendant Williams was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for allegedly killing Journalist Tyron Brown in the Du-Port Road Community, Paynesville.
The government also charged defendant Williams with murder along with Edwina and Alice Youti, two sisters who were also charged with criminal facilitation and conspiracy in connection to the case.
However, the charges against the two sisters were dropped by Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh.
Brown had gone to Williams’ house in an attempt to visit one of his nieces who was not identified when he was stabbed to death by Williams, which prosecutors claimed was witnessed by the sisters.
Defendants Alice and Edwina were jointly indicted with the prime defendant, Jonathan Williams, by the government for the death of Tyron A. Browne.
The sisters were charged with hindering law enforcement on grounds that they allegedly, deliberately and criminally concealed information about the murder of Journalist Browne by defendant Williams from April 15 up to his arrest on April 20, when he was subsequently charged with murder.
Based on those charges, the Youtis’ legal team, headed by Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, prayed Judge Roosevelt Willie to separately try co-defendants Alice and Edwina from Williams because the indictment charging the two Co-defendants for hindering law enforcement did not point out any acts of conspiracy and facilitation by them to commit the alleged act of murder.
Despite their arguments, Judge Willie proceeded to deny and subsequently demand that the defendant and co-defendants be jointly tried. This, therefore, led Cllr. Massaquoi to file for a writ of certiorari, contending that only the magisterial court has jurisdiction over the matter and not Criminal Court ‘A.’
In her ruling, Justice Yuoh maintained that Willie was in error to have denied the defendants separate trial and that such denial endangers the rights of the accused to have a free, fair and impartial trial.
Therefore, she reminded Willie that prosecuting the defendants along with a murder suspect will be antagonistic and would amount to unfair prejudice against them; one of the arguments Cllr. Massaquoi relied on.
“The alternative writ of certiorari is hereby affirmed and the peremptory writ is ordered issued,” Justice Yuoh declared at the time.