Liberia: Man Sentenced to 50 Years for Murder

By Marcus Malayea

Amos Molon (center) is currently remanded at the Gbarnga Central Prison but, with the verdict, he maybe transferred to the Palace of Corrections in Grand Gedeh County, where he will serve his 50-year jail term.

The 9th Judicial Circuit Court in Gbarnga, Bong County, has sentenced Amos Molon, 29, to 50 years imprisonment for killing Satta Binda, 17, in Gbartala, Yellequelleh District in Bong County.

On September 15, 2018 in the Gbartala community at about 2:00 a.m., Amos Molon raped, murdered, and dumped the lifeless body of Satta Binda in her parents’ backyard.

According to the court’s ruling, a copy of which is in possession of this newspaper, after Molon raped and murdered the deceased, the defendant cut a piece of twine, tied it on the girl’s neck, and dragged her to the football field near her parents’ house.

The ruling revealed that Molon was arrested following months of investigation, and DNA tests conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Forensic Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, USA as requested by the Liberian government.

According to the report, out of six persons whose samples were taken, the defendant was the only person whose profiles matched with the twine and the private part swab taken from the deceased.

“The defendant admitted to the crimes in the presence of his lawyer when he was confronted with the DNA report,” the court’s records revealed.

He admitted raping and murdering Satta Binda, but said it was out of emotion, and therefore, “I plead for less sentence, at least 10 years since I voluntarily admitted to the crimes.”

Molon is currently remanded at the Gbarnga Central Prison but, with the verdict, he maybe transferred to the Palace of Corrections in Grand Gedeh County, where he will serve his 50-year jail term.

Prior to his indictment on August 29, 2019, Molon pleaded guilty to the crime of rape and murder.

Correction officers escort convicted Amos Molon (in yellow shorts) onto the prison van.

In his final ruling on August 22, the assigned Judge, Scheaplor R. Dunbar, said consistent with section 16.4 of the Criminal Procedure Law, pre-sentence hearing was held to determine whether there were aggravating and/or mitigating facts or circumstances that may aid the court in imposing a sentence.

“In the mind of this court, the killing of the lady was willful and premeditated. No amount of jealousy warrants the killing of a person you claimed you love. His attempt to conceal the crime by putting the body in a bag and carrying it to a nearby rubber farm is a clear indication that he planned to commit this heinous crime. Therefore, the defendant has inflicted heavy pain on the family of the deceased,” Judge Dunbar read the ruling.

Earlier, state prosecutors led by County Attorney Jonathan Flomo, argued and prayed the court to impose the maximum sentence under the Penal Code, because, according to them, the killing of the deceased was premeditated, and not due to emotion or ignorance, as alleged by the defendant.

“The imposition of maximum penalty will serve as a deterrent to others, who would attempt to engage in a similar criminal conduct,” the prosecutors argued.

The Chairlady of Bong County Civil Society Organization, Madam Marline T. Jarwoe, described the ruling as a step-in-the-right-direction, and victory for the rule of law and for women, who have been in the forefront to ensure that Molon gets his day in court.

“In recent times, Bong County has recorded high levels of violence against women. With the sentencing of Amos, we feel that it is a victory for the women, though they were enraged about violence meted against them,” Madam Jarwoe said.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered the release of Josephine Sulonteh and Clarence David, who police earlier arrested and charged with “murder and criminal conspiracy”, as they were suspected of being the ones who killed Satta Binda.

The two expressed joy joy shortly after they were released from further detention.

Satta Binda was a 6th grade student of the government-run David Faijue Elementary School in Gbartala, but was killed on September 15, 2018 by Amos Molon shortly after attending a traditional feast in the same community.

Credit to Daily Observer Liberia.

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