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Rivers found guilty of murder

Jurors took a little over three hours to bring in a guilty verdict in the William Ian Rivers murder trial.

They broke at 1:30 p.m., after spending Monday (17 September) morning taking instruction from Justice Frank Williams on how they should proceed with reviewing the evidence of the trial, and returned a verdict of guilty of murder shortly after 4:30 p.m.

Justice Williams told the jury that if they were able to establish that Mr. Rivers had intentionally shot Mr. Seymour on 28 January, 2017 and found that he did so with control over his mental faculties, then they were to return a guilty of murder verdict. If they were not, they were to deliver a verdict of guilty of manslaughter.

The verdict means that jurors rejected Mr. Rivers’ defense team’s argument that he had diminished responsibility for his actions due to mental incapacity.

Throughout the 2 week trial, Mr. Rivers defense team consisting of John Furniss and Crister Brady put to the jury that Mr. Rivers was suffering psychotic symptoms at the time of the shooting of Mark “Hubba” Seymour, the period of its immediate aftermath and throughout his incarceration.

Crown prosecutor, Cheryll Richard QC, had argued that Mr. Rivers presented several signs during the events of 28 January, 2017 and its aftermath that showed he had carefully planned a defense of mental instability.

Both the Crown and the defense presented medical evidence by several witness over the course of the trial to bolster their case.

Mr. Rivers was remanded into custody and is due again in court on Friday 26 October, when he will be sentenced.

About the author

Natalie Briggs

Natalie Briggs

Natalie Briggs has worked in television, radio and print since 2002, including stints at Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT/CNMG), Radio 97, The Trinidad Guardian and Newsday. She has an MA in Media, Communications and Public Relations.

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