President Weah Protocol Officer Convicted to Five Years Prison
President George Weah Senior Protocol Officer, Cleopatra Cummings has been convicted by Judge Roosevelt Willie of criminal court ‘A’ to five years in prison for aggravated assault, against a classroom teacher, Grace Wah of the God Is Good International School.
It can be recalled that on June 20 2022, jury unanimously found defendant Cleopatra Cummings, a Deputy Protocol Officer assigned at the Executive Mansion, guilty in an aggravated assault case in which she used razor-blade to attack victim Grace Weah of the Bardnesville community.
On June 27, 2022 which should have been the final hearing date, lawyers representing Cummings filed a motion for new trial on June 24, 2022.
“immediately following the unanimous verdict of trial jurors handed down on Monday, June 20, 22, the court announced June 27, 2022 for the sentencing hearing and final sentencing in the proceedings”
According to the defense team, there were two major doubts for which the trial jurors should not have found the defendant guilty, stressing that the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence and that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proof their case.
Those reasons stated by the defense counsel included that: the weapon that was used to tear the victim face according to prosecution was not produced into evidence.
In addition, the defense also noted that the medical record of the victim to show the extent she was injured was never produced as evidence in court.
However, the prosecutor noted that they did not get hold of the razor blade, adding that police were unable to retrieve it due to the fact that they arrived later after the incident; the medical record was never used because the victim had taken pictures of the incident which was provided in court.
The motion for New Trial was subsequently denied by Judge Willie, thus reaffirming the guilty verdict passed by the twelve men jury, which were mainly females.
“Are the facts contrary to the weight of the verdict? He asked
In furtherance, he stated” the Trial Jurors listened to the facts in these proceedings where the Private Prosecutor was asked regarding the whereabouts of the razor blade and they told the court that it is possible that the defendant could have thrown the razor blade away after committing the injury”
According to our judiciary reporter, it was based on the deliberations in court that the jurors passed their verdict. Judge Roosevelt Willie denied defense motion adding that the court would proceed to hearing the report of the probation officer of the Ministry of Justice, who was tasked to carry out an investigation on the conduct of the convict in her community and other places; after the juror’s guilty verdict.
However, during her conviction hearing on June 28 at Criminal Court ‘A’, a pre- sentencing investigation revealed that Madam Cummings had no criminal record and based on said provisions, two years of her five years sentencing were dropped.
Convict Cleopatra Cummings was indicted in February by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County, for allegedly tearing Madam Grace Wah with a razor blade several times on the face.
After her indictment, she was turned over to the Court for prosecution by Liberian Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, for allegedly committing the act.
Meanwhile, defense Lawyers have taken an exception to the Judge’ ruling, thus announcing an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia in subsequent time.
By: Rachael Saykiamien