Murder suspect William G. Dweh, was on Wednesday sentenced to a maximum death
penalty by hacking by Criminal Court 'A' Judge James W. Zotaa. Dweh has been
tried and convicted of killing and burying his 28-year-old fiancée Venelsay
Karsua at the home of the former couple in the Johnson Street community last
Confirming jurors' unanimous guilty verdict yesterday at the Temple of Justice
in Monrovia, the trial judge asked the Almighty God to forgive the defendant's
'wicked soul' while ruling that the convict be put to death by hacking from
6:00 AM to 6:00 PM until he is pronounced dead. But defendant Dweh's lawyer
announced an appeal to the Supreme Court of Liberia following the judge's
Responding to reporters' inquiry outside the court as to whether death sentence
can be executed in Liberia now that the country is a signatory to international
treaty which bans such harsh penalty, Solicitor General Michael Wilkins
Wrights, said no international treaty is higher than the Constitution of
"Now, it is a catch; our constitution is the highest law in this country. Even
though we are a signatory to an international treaty, no international treaty
is higher than our constitution. To be able to take effect, it means that our
constitution must be amended," said the Solicitor General.
Cllr. Wrights insists that until that is done, the laws provide for the death
penalty as imposed by Judge Zotaa. Recalling from the defendant's earlier
admission before the court in the presence of his lawyer, Judge Zotaa ruled
that the admission is an evidence of the highest grade against the defendant.
The judge further stated that when prosecutors produce 'prima facie' evidence
to support the indictment, the verdict of guilty must not be disturbed by the
Though the court entered a plea of non-guilty in favor of the defendant to
allow prosecution proceed with trial, Judge Zotaa ruled that such did not
destroy the probative value of the defendant's admission in court.
"This court wants to say in passing, that voluntary admission by a party in
criminal cases is evidenced against such party..." Judge Zotaa Ruled.
In October 2011, Dweh was reported to have murdered and buried his fiancée
Venelsay in the hall way of their Johnson Street residence and covered the
grave with cement.
But upon neighbor's tip-off to the police, the victim's body was reportedly
exhumed (dug up) and deposited at the Abraham Roberts Funeral Home for autopsy,
while police pursued the defendant.
Dweh reportedly fled the bailiwicks of Liberia and hid in a hotel in Lome,
Togo, where he was arrested by Togolese Police and subsequently surrendered to
the Liberia National Police to face justice.
(source: Associated Press)