The Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba County on February 25 sentenced a man believed to be in his mid-40s to death by hanging for killing four persons.
According to the court record, the convict, Arthur Duahn, in October last year intentionally set ablaze a house in the Nimba County border town of Loguatuo, leading to the death of his four step children that were asleep.
Arthur Duahn fled to the Ivory Coast where he was captured and turned over by that government to Liberian authorities. He was taken to Monrovia for fear of reprisals, but brought back to Nimba and charged with “arson and murder.”
The trial commenced with a trial jury on the 16th February with the state being represented by Cllr. Hector W. Quaiguah and Atty. G. T. Harr while the defendant was represented by Attys. Menwasah Paybayee and Robertson Mehn.
The court document disclosed that defendant Duahn took the stand and pleaded guilty to the crimes and begged for mercy.
The trial jury came down with a guilty verdict against the defendant after deliberation and the final judgment was rendered on the February 25.
“From every indication, evidence by the admission made by the defendant in open court, this court is of the opinion that the verdict of the trial jury was confirmative with the facts of the case,” the court said.
This is the second time in recent memory that the court in Sanniquellie has sentenced a criminal to death by hanging, but the terminal sentence is yet to be executed by the government.
“If those who are involved in heinous crimes were to be executed as they were during the regime of Tolbert, the issue of lawless behavior will be minimal,” said one of the victim’s family member.
“We lost our four children in vain and nothing is going to happen to this fellow, who knows that he could be set free at anytime,” she said.
The reason for torching the house, according to Duahn, was because his wife Rebecca Duahn was not showing him respect a few months after they got married, but the woman disputed, saying Arthur was instead always complaining about his children, after he and Rebecca got married and he would use all kinds of threatening remarks.
Arthur, who confessed that he didn’t mean to set the children ablaze, said he thought his wife was in the room and so he decided to set the entire building on fire to appear like suicide, but unfortunately, the lady was not in the room.
“I managed to rescue the children, but when my wife was pointing accusing fingers at me that was how I fled to Ivory Coast,” he said.
One of the victims died after the rescue and the remaining three died at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital.
The victims included Mercy Luo, 22, Linda Luo 18, Timothy Newah 10 and Nela Newah 1.
Two of the children, Mercy and Linda, were said to be his step-children while Timothy and Nela were living with the family.
There are 38 criminal cases on the docket this February term of court in Nimba, among them six rape and five murder cases.
The murder cases include the killing of a market woman in a town called Greanpea in Tappita District in 2008. This led to the burning down of the local police station where the perpetrators were held in detention.