Cops killer Eric Kojo Duah jailed 20 years
The 37-year-old man who shot and killed two uniformed police officers on duty at Buduburam, near Kasoa, in 2019, has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in hard labour.
Eric Kojo Duah was slapped with the sentence by the High Court in Accra after pleading guilty to two counts of manslaughter.
That was after his lawyer negotiated a plea bargain with the Office of the Attorney General.
The convict had pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and the prosecution had begun its case by calling its first witness before the transfer of the presiding judge which led to the case being restarted by the re-empaneling of a new jury.
But his lawyer, Augustine Obour, told the court that the convict was willing to plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter as agreed with the prosecution, and plead not guilty to the charge of murder levelled against him.
Justice Marie-Louise Simmons asked the convict whether he understood the consequences of the decision and whether his lawyer had explained it to him.
In response, he said: “Yes, my lady.”
The court, therefore, convicted him on his own plea.Mr Obuor, in his plea for mitigation, prayed the court to give him a shorter sentence so that he could come back to the community to continue his good deeds prior to his arrest.
He said the convict was a first-time offender, and that until the incident he was a responsible citizen, adding that the convict had learnt his lesson.
A Senior State Attorney from the Office of the Attorney General, Nana Ama Prempeh, told the court that the prosecution was relieved that the convict had admitted to the killing of the two police officers who were performing their duty.
She said the offence was a grave one which should attract punishment that was deterrent enough.
She also prayed the court to make the sentence take effect from the day of the sentence in spite of the number of years the convict had spent in custody.
In his sentence, Justice Simmons indicated that he did not show remorse in the courtroom during the duration of the case.
She said “the nature of the offence was such that, in my view, it was disrespectful of authority.
For a civilian to shoot two policemen on the street, not once but about twice, each leading to their death is a threat to public safety and security.”
The judge held that from the facts, the convict had actually committed some road traffic offence for which the police were pursuing him, and for him to have shot both of them on the street, regardless of the presence of onlookers, was dangerous.
She said she was obliged to take into consideration the public interest, which she did, and having considered all these, including the sentencing guidelines, she sentenced Eric Kojo Duah to 20 years’ imprisonment on two counts of manslaughter to run concurrently.