As Judge Hands Down Ruling in Brutal Murder of Charcoal Seller, Victim’s Family Wants Former Senator Sentence

Former Bomi County Senator, Lahai Lansanah
Former Bomi County Senator, Lahai Lansanah

Family members of the late Sianneh Mulbah who was brutally murdered with several parts of her body extracted for ritualistic purposes are calling on the Government through the country’s judicial system to bring to book those individual whose named were called during the trial.

The family members called on the government to arrest Lahai Lansanah, former Senator of the County who was alleged to have asked the perpetrators of the crime to bring in human blood and parts for ritualistic purpose.

The Judge of Criminal Court ‘B’ in Turbmanburg Bomi County, western Liberia George Wiles last Friday sentenced Jonathan Anderson to 48 years in prison following his admittance to the charge of murder.

Defendant Anderson, Victor Jah and Varney Sirleaf were indicted August 2014 by the 11th Judicial Circuit of Bomi County. Victor Jah died during the Ebola outbreak.

Minutes following the judge’s ruling, the mother of the deceased fainted and was taken out of the court to be resuscitated. When she later came to herself, she said it was too much for her to take.

“That’s not the maximum sentence I wanted—the brutal way he murdered my mom—he should have been given a death by hanging.

Also I’m frustrated because there was no arrest order issue for Lahai Lansanah who is the master minder behind my mothers’ death and the death given her was premeditated, according to the defendant,” he added.

He furthered revealed that his family is working along with the Ministry of Justice to bring in the others for prosecution.

“We are working with the Ministry of Justice to bring in the other two since one is dead, but all we really need now is that Lansanah, who is the head of the killing, should be brought to justice.”

Beatrice Jackson, sister of the deceased told FPA that the years given to the defendant by the judge is not satisfactory but was glad for his sentence and prosecution.

“For me, I know he will not survive in the prison, but I’m angry over the judge sentence because of the brutal way my sister was killed.”

According to the indictment on January 20, at Nyaundee Town, Manneh Clan, Klay District, Anderson, alias Arab Man, purposely cause the death of another human being.

At the call of the case for trial, the prosecution filed a motion which was granted and the case was sent to Criminal Court A’ and later transferred to Court B’.

September 13 2016, a pre-trial conference was heard upon which the defense requested a severance for co-defendant Anderson which was granted by the court.

The defendant at the call of the case for hearing pleaded guilty during arraignment but was not accepted by the court because it is a capital offense which is in accordance with Chapter 16, Section 16.4 of the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia.

The state produced four witnesses including Yangar Massaquoi, a business partner and friend to the deceased, Albert Dennis, Halvin Page and Abraham Ricks.

Judge Willie said the prosecution’s witnesses’ testimonies corroborated the commission of the crime by the defendant.

The defendant’s testimony revealed that he (Anderson) conspired to kill the deceased on grounds that he was to be given US$500,000 to produce human parts, but he never received the money after the act.

 “If it had been my mother, I would have killed her because of the spirit I was in. Also I was the first person who hit the deceased with a mortar pestle from the back and she dropped to the ground,” he told the court.

“My friends extracted her parts while I watched the road to know who was coming.”

Meanwhile the defendant’s legal counsel waived questions and the trial jury brought down a guilty verdict against Anderson.

In Judge Willie’s judgment, he confirmed and affirmed the guilty verdict by the jurors and said though the maximum penalty for the offense is life imprisonment, the minimum is imprisonment not less than 10 years.

“Even though the defendant admitted to the commission of the crime, the manner in which the crime was committed was too grave to give him a very low sentence.

The Defendant Anderson is hereby sentenced to a term of imprisonment for forty eight years beginning today (Friday),” Judge Willie said.

He continued: “After 30 years of imprisonment, with good behavior, he shall be eligible for parole, this will serve as deterrence to other Liberians to respect human life.”

Minutes after the Judge’s ruling, in no time correction officer ran out with the defendant as the family members were set to wound him on grounds that the years given to the defendant was little for the crime he committed.

Meanwhile, a member of the Charcoal union, where the deceased was a member, Samuel Weah in an angry tone said that the sentence is far from seriousness.

Credit/FPA

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About Cholo Brooks 13197 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.