US$130K DEMANDED FOR CHARLOE MUSU’S MURDER TRIAL

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While prosecutors in rural Liberia usually receive US$1,000 to prosecute cases, but for just a single murder case involving former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott, state prosecutors are demanding US$130,000.00 (One Hundred and Thirty Thousand) before prosecuting the murder case.

Often time, rural prosecutors   usually struggle to get financing and sometimes they even use their own money to facilitate prosecution of government’s cases, while complaining that the US$1,000 is insufficient to prosecute more than one case.

However, due to passion of the job, judicial sources say they manage to prosecute more than five cases before the term of court ends.

In recent time, the Grand Jury for Monsterrado County indicted former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three other family members for allegedly killing Charloe Musu in Brewerville Community, outside Monrovia.

Former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott, Gertrude Newton, Alice Johnson and Rebecca Youdeh Wisner were charged with Murder, Criminal Conspiracy and False Reports to Law Enforcement officials in violation of Title 26, Chapter 14, Section 14.1, Chapter 10, Section 10.4 and Chapter 12, Section 12.33 of the New Penal Law of the Republic of Liberia.

Since the US$130K demanded is not yet available to the urban state prosecutors, they are delaying with case by filing “bogus motions,” a well knowledgeable judicial source  has claimed. But none of the state prosecutors has reacted to the claim.

Now, barley 48 hours to the commencement of the murder trial of former Liberia’s Chief Justice Scott and three of her family members, state prosecutors have again filed  second motion for change of venue after they withdrew the first one recently.

On August 2,2023, state prosecutors filed the first motion for change of venue on grounds that the case has been discussed everywhere by locals and, as prosecutors, it is not safe for them. But they later withdrew the motion on August 7,2023 for unknown reasons. Lawyers of Cllr. Scott see this attitude of the prosecutors as a delay tactics in order to have their clients and family behind bars  against the Liberian Constitution which speaks about  speedy trial.

While both state and defense lawyers were preparing to start the commencement of the trial this Monday, August 28,2033, the government lawyers filed another motion for change of venue on Friday, August 25,2023.

The motion reads:

“Now comes Movant the Republic of Liberia by and thru the Ministry of Justice/Plaintiff in the entitled cause of action praying your and this Honorable Court for a change of place/venue of prosecution in the form and manner as showery to writ:

 That the within named Criminal defendant Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, Gertrude Newton, Rebecca Yonder Wisner and Alice Johnson were arrested, investigated, charged by the Crime Services Department of the Liberia National Police for the commission of the crime mentioned hereinabove.

 That consistent with Chapter 15 subsection 15.5 of the Criminal procedure law of the Republic of Liberia, the Special Ground jury for Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia upon their oath and after careful deliberation, found, established and indicted the within defendants for the commission of the aforesaid criminal offenses or crimes.

 That movant says avers that since the gruesome murder of Charloe Musu on the 22nd day of February 2023, the case is being discussed publicly and critically within Montserrado County to the extent that almost every media outlets print or electronic have been discussing the merits of the case which is yet to be tried.

That movant application or submission for change of place/venue of prosecution is in line with Chapter 5 subsection 5.7(b) of the Criminal procedure law and statutory laws of the aforesaid republic.

Wherefore and in view of the foregoing facts and circumstances and legal citations stated Supra, movant most respectfully prays your Honor and this Honorable court to:

Change the place or venue of the aforesaid case or trial for reasons stated above.

Have the aforesaid case or trial transfer to another jurisdiction outside of Montserrado County.

Grant unto movant all and every singular relief that equity and justice demands in these premises.”

Government’s indictment

The government three-Count indictment further said that on February 22, the Defendants with criminal minds and intent, armed with a sharp instrument believed to be a knife, and pepper spray, willfully, intentionally, purposely, and maliciously inflicted several bodily injuries on the person of Charloe Musu, including her chest, right hand, left thigh, and left armpit, which led to her death, thereby committing the crime of Murder.

 

According to the indictment, it was on the night of February 22, after the family had eaten and were all in the house, when the security guards assigned to the home of Co-Defendant Musu-Scott, heard crying sound coming from inside the house .As the sound got louder, Security Guards Anthony Musu and Zion Tarr, approached the room window of Co-Defendant Scott and in that process they saw Co-Defendant Gertrude Newton slid the bathroom window glass of Co-Defendant Scott, and upon seeing them, she started screaming for help saying “that the people on us in the house!.” Also seen in the bathroom with Co-Defendant Newton was Charloe Musu, now deceased.

‘’After hearing from Co-Defendant Gertrude that someone was on them in the house, Security Guard Zion Tarr left to call Security Guard Moses Wright who was their commander, and told him that someone was in the house on the occupants based on what Co- Defendant Gertrude Newton had told him,’’ the indictment noted.

The indictment maintained that when the security guards Wright and Tarr returned, they left security guard Anthony Musu at the bathroom window of Co-Defendant Scott, they went at the back of the house to Co-Defendant Wisner’s room. When they got at the window of Co Defendant Wisner’s room, Co-Defendant Gertrude Newton came and told him, Zion Tarr, to break the window bar if he had anything to allow them come outside. As instructed, Tarr, broke the window bar with a cutlass and aided three of the Defendants to get outside through the window.

‘’After the three Co-Defendants came outside and being very concerned and apprehensive about the alleged armed robber, the security guard, Zion Tarr, decided to remain at the window with his cutlass to see whether the alleged intruder would come outside through that window, since there was no other entry or exit at the time,’’ the indictment explained.

It added that while standing at the window, some members of the community who jumped over and entered the fence, came to the window where the security guard, Zion Tarr, was standing, and managed to enter the house, through the said window, while the Security Guard remained on alert at the window for the alleged intruder who never showed up.

The indictment also revealed that one of the Community members, in person of Amara S. who entered the house told police investigators that when he entered the house through one of the back windows, he saw the deceased lying in the bathroom bleeding, and he helped to put her on the back of his friend by the name of OG Prof, who asked Co- Defendant Scott for the car keys.

He further that Co-Defendant Scott gave the keys to his friend OG Prof who gave it to one Mulbah, stating  that at that time the whole house was locked so he asked Co- Defendant Scott for the back door keys and she gave it to him, that is how he opened the back door and helped carried CharloeMusu, (now deceased), to the car to be taken to the hospital, and he returned in the house to continue searching for the unknown man who allegedly stabbed the deceased, but was never found.

The indictment disclosed that in an attempt to cover up the truth about what transpired in the house, the Defendants decided to concoct a story that an known man entered the house and stabbed the deceased to death; but to the contrary, it was the Defendants who murdered the deceased after they were involved in an altercation, evidenced by the outlook of the room when the investigators appeared on the crime scene.

‘’The medical/autopsy report established that the deceased was violently, and stabbed nine (9) times on her chest, right hand, left armpit, and left thigh, and her face was peeled indicating that the aggravated involuntary sodomy, escape, piracy, or other felony involving force or danger to human life,’’ The indictment noted.

The indictment further stated that, the police having been informed of the occurrence that an alleged armed robbery; rushed to the crime scene, but the Defendants were not there. After seven days from the date of the incident, the Defendants conducted themselves in manners indicating that they were not willing to cooperate with police investigation, but rather took to the airwaves and various social media platforms, purportedly claiming that they were attacked by armed robber.

‘’Co-Defendant Gloria Musu Scott, in her effort to conceal the crime and mislead Law Enforcement Officials, granted an interview to media outlets stating, amongst other things, that her family had come under attack from an unknown armed robber and had in fact used pepper spray on the alleged intruder,’’ the indictment contained.

The indictment noted that during police investigation, the within named Defendants, severally and collectively gave false and misleading information by wrongly depicting a false picture of what actually transpired during the fateful night that the Defendants collectively informed the police investigators that an intruder surreptitiously entered the house at an unknown time, only for them to be attacked that night by the purported intruder, therefore it was established that there was no sign of breakage into the house, nor was there any trace of an intruder/armed robber.

‘’That Co-Defendant Musu-Scott falsely told police investigators that on the night of the incident, she awoke to screams, and when she opened her eyes, she saw the deceased bleeding and bent over with what appeared to be keys on a string in her hands, that’s how she dragged her in her bathroom, tore the window screen and began to scream through her bathroom window. She furthered that she came back in her room for her phone. But she did not find it, it was there and then that she remembered someone had given a pepper spray which she located amongst her papers; and that when she was leaving the room,’’ the indictment revealed.

The indictment added that she encountered a man at her door-way and she sprayed him in the face. Later, one of the security guards entered the house, and she gave him her set of spare keys to open the door, and that is how they carried deceased, Charloe Musu outside to be taken to the hospital.

‘’Co-Defendant Newton falsely and erroneously told police investigators that the deceased was stabbed in the back by an alleged armed robber; when in fact and indeed, the multiple wounds inflicted on the deceased were all seen in the front and at the left armpit of the deceased.

Furthermore, Co-Defendant Newton said she had a tussle with the alleged intruder and even took possession of the knife before the intruder retook possession of the knife that he allegedly stabbed Deceased, CharloeMusu with,’’ the government’s indictment concluded. By Garmah Never Lomo, garmahlomo@gmail.com/newspublictrust.com

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