Sol­dier guns down part­ner

Stabroek News Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharda Bac­chus

Fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment, Cap­tain Or­wain Sandy, the army Chief-of-Staff’s per­sonal as­sis­tant, rid­dled his com­mon-law wife with bul­lets at Alexan­der Vil­lage, Ge­orge­town yes­ter­day morn­ing and then turned him­self over to the po­lice.

Dead is Reona Payne, 32, a travel agent at the Munesh­w­ers Travel Agency, who sus­tained 14 gun­shot wounds about her body. She died on spot.

The killing took place around 10.15 am at First Street, Alexan­der Vil­lage, af­ter which Sandy drove him­self to the Ruimveldt Po­lice Sta­tion and in­formed the po­lice there of what tran­spired.

He also handed over the sus­pected mur­der weapon and was sub­se­quently placed into cus­tody.

Al­though both Sandy and Payne were mar­ried to other peo­ple, they were liv­ing to­gether for about five years at Sandy’s Lot 771 Prov­i­dence, East Bank De­mer­ara home.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, the Guyana De­fence Force (GDF) con­firmed that Sandy was im­me­di­ately in­ter­dicted from du­ties and an­nounced that an in­quiry has been launched to de­ter­mine the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the fa­tal shoot­ing.

“The Force is truly sad­dened by this oc­cur­rence and would want to re­as­sure the general pop­u­lace that this is an iso­lated in­ci­dent and is not re­flec­tive of the Val­ues and Stan­dards of the Guyana De­fence Force,” the state­ment noted.

It added that the Chiefof-Staff Brigadier Patrick West has since or­dered the In­spec­tor General of the GDF to con­duct a board of in­quiry into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the in­ci­dent.

Sun­day Stabroek was told by friends of the cou­ple that they had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems. Sandy has claimed that Payne was in­volved in a re­la­tion­ship with an­other rank of the GDF.

This news­pa­per learned that around 8am, Sandy and Payne left home in his ve­hi­cle, PWW 7163, for her work­place. On their way, an ar­gu­ment re­port­edly en­sued over the woman’s other re­la­tion­ship and Sandy in­structed her to end it.

He drove to In­de­pen­dence Boule­vard, where he col­lected a tent he had taken for re­pair and then he pro­ceeded to First Street, Alexan­der Vil­lage.

Sandy has told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that it was at this point that Payne re­port­edly held on to the steer­ing wheel of the ve­hi­cle and re­moved Sandy’s firearm, which was be­ing stored be­tween the two front seats. She re­port­edly threw the firearm through the win­dow and be­gan to scream.

How­ever, Sandy stopped and ex­ited the ve­hi­cle to re­trieve his firearm. As he was re­turn­ing to the ve­hi­cle, Payne re­port­edly jumped out and be­gan to run east along the street.

As a re­sult, Sandy con­fronted her about her be­hav­iour and shot her mul­ti­ple times about her body. He then drove to the po­lice sta­tion.

Strong enough to walk away

At the scene, a large crowd gath­ered to view Payne’s body, which was ly­ing face down at the cor­ner of the road, cov­ered with a cloth.

While sev­eral ranks were present at the scene, Payne’s body re­mained there for al­most three hours. It was not re­moved un­til af­ter be­ing pro­cessed by crime scene ranks, who took close to one hour to ar­rive at the scene. Upon their ar­rival, a length of rope which was used to tem­po­rar­ily cor­don off the crime scene was re­moved and re­placed with crime scene tape and the scene was pro­cessed. Po­lice re­trieved four­teen 9mm spent shells and a metal frag­ment at the scene.

The hearse later ar­rived and Payne was stripped of sev­eral pieces of jewellery that she was wear­ing, in­clud­ing a wed­ding ring, and then taken away.

At the po­lice sta­tion, rel­a­tives and friends of the cou­ple turned up in their num­bers and as a re­sult ranks were forced to lock the gate of the com­pound when they es­corted Sandy to his ve­hi­cle, which was parked in the yard, to as­sist with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Among those present out­side the po­lice sta­tion was Sandy’s wife, Amanda Nedd and Payne’s hus­band, Bev­er­ney (only name given). Payne’s three chil­dren were also there and were weep­ing as they called out for her.

Bev­er­ney told re­porters that he and Payne had been sep­a­rated for some time now but they still talked al­most every day. “…Be­cause you have to be strong even if you sep­a­rated from some­body. You have to be strong enough to walk away from prob­lems and still love them from a dis­tance,” he said.

The man said he was aware of the cou­ple’s prob­lems and would con­stantly talk to them. “I talk with them. He is a sol­dier and she should be strong enough to walk away from the prob­lem but she choose to stay,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Bev­er­ney,

the chil­dren were stay­ing with Payne and he only col­lected them on Thurs­day. “Soon as I col­lect my chil­dren, he kill their mother. What is that?” he cried, be­fore adding that Sandy “must be [made] a liv­ing ex­am­ple” lest the wrong mes­sage is sent to so­ci­ety.

A co-worker said that she had worked with Payne for seven years. The woman said Payne was sched­uled to turn up for work at 9 am. Af­ter she did not show, she tried to call her but the calls went unan­swered.

Many res­i­dents of Alexan­der Vil­lage told Sun­day Stabroek that they were go­ing about their nor­mal rou­tines when they heard the gun­shots ring­ing out. Upon check­ing, they said they saw a large crowd rush­ing to the scene and Payne’s body was ly­ing at the cor­ner of the road.

“I just hear shot, shot, shot, so I didn’t know what re­ally did go­ing on and I get so scared I sit down flat on the floor. When I catch my­self and ask a man he tell me watch the girl [Payne] just get shoot,” a woman said.

A snack­ette owner who op­er­ates in the street where the shoot­ing oc­curred said he was at­tend­ing to cus­tomers when he heard the gun­shots. “I didn’t hear any ar­gu­ment or so be­fore. When I get to know is when I hear the shots and I see the man [Sandy] mek one turn back with the ve­hi­cle and he drive out straight deh [point­ing to the street lead­ing to the po­lice sta­tion],” the man said.

Rel­a­tives and friends of Sandy de­scribed him as a very po­lite and quiet in­di­vid­ual. “This is not Sandy,” a friend noted in ref­er­ence

Or­wain Sandy and Reona Payne in hap­pier times.

Crime scene ranks pro­cess­ing the scene.

Dead: Reona Payne

In cus­tody: Or­wain Sandy

The ve­hi­cle Or­wain Sandy and Reona Payne were trav­el­ling in.

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