Rivers Serial killer Pleads Guilty To Killing Nine Says He Is ‘A Child of God’
AFTER adjourning the case on Monday for lack a legal counsel for the suspect, Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the Rivers State High Court heard accused serial killer Gracious David-West’s matter on Tuesday.
“I never had thoughts of killing the tenth person,” he said in court, “I don’t lie. I’m a child of God, I only tied her on the chair in the hotel room and walked away.”
The tenth victim the suspect denied killing was simply identified as Etim.
David-West, who was arrested on September 19, said he gave the bound Etim a stern warning to desist from prostitution, and thereafter walked out of the hotel room.
He was arraigned on a 10-count charge of murder and attempted murder, an offence punishable by death.
The court adopted accelerated hearing on the matter to ensure that judgement was pronounced as quickly as possible, especially as the accused person pleaded guilty.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the sitting, police prosecuting counsel, Gladys Imegwu said the state Ministry of Justice was directed to take over the prosecution.
Principal State Counsel from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP), state Ministry of Justice, Chidi Ekeh, said the move to take over the prosecution was to ensure that justice prevailed.
“We considered this case a very sensitive one that the state should not ignore, considering the fact that all the nine victims that were killed apart from the fact that they are in Rivers State, they also humans and the state has a responsibility to protect the citizens wherever they come from, so today the state is taking over the matter to assure the people that the state is protecting them.
“We will prosecute this matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that justice prevails at the end of the day.”
Counsel for the defendant, Vincent Chukwu told newsmen that his client pleading guilty before the court was not enough to convict him of the crime without due trial.
“The offence in question is a capital offence, whether my client did it or not, the presumption is that the prosecution must still prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, so it is not for the defendant to just say I am guilty and liable and it ends there.
“Because the punishment is death, so the burden is now on the prosecution to go ahead to prove their case and we are waiting for them. My client has a very plausible defence which we shall open up at the appropriate time, we have had fruitful deliberations with him yesterday and we hope for the best in the matter”.
Justice Enebeli ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till November 18, 21, 27, 29 and December 4 2019 for hearing.
Lack of defence counsel stalled the planned arraignment of David-West, before the court on Monday. He was in court for the commencement of his trial, clad in a black T-shirt upon a pair of the blue jean.
The shirt was marked “Lockon King” with a big chain necklace drawn which could be mistaken for a piece of jewellery around his neck. On his wrists, he had a pair of blue rubber wrist bangles marked with the name and logo of one of the churches he earlier said he ran to for help when he discovered the uncontrollable urge to kill that intermittently came upon him. Yesterday, David-West wore a white T-shirt over a pair of black jean trousers, a complete departure from his usual blue and white striped T-shirt and blue Jean trousers, which he wore all through the period he killed his victims in hotels in seven states.
The presiding judge previously declined to hear the case without a lawyer representing the accused person in such a magnitude of the murder case. He urged the accused person to engage a lawyer for himself before the sitting yesterday otherwise a legal aid would assign his file to a legal aid counsel.
When the matter was called up at the resumed sitting yesterday, two counsels stood to announce appearance for him, a legal aid counsel and Mr. Eke.
While trying to resolve the issue of who should then take up the job, Eke narrated to the court how several lawyers stormed the police cell Monday to look for the job of defending David-West and which he finally got.
However, the court warned the lawyer against abandoning the job halfway, while the legal aid counsel is ready to handle the defence from the beginning of the case to its end.