STEPDAD CHARGED: Dwayne Lewis, charged with the murder of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch, is escorted from the Arima Magistrates’ Court after the court ordered that he be sent to the St Ann’s Hospital for evaluation. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE



Magistrate commits Keyana murder accused to mental hospital for evaluation

By Joel Julien

FIVE days after being formally charged with the murder of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch, her accused killer yesterday appeared before an Arima magistrate. 

Dwayne Lewis, 28, Keyana’s stepfather, appeared before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno charged with the murder of Cumberbatch sometime between the 24th and 29th of last month. 

Cedeno ordered Lewis be sent to the St Ann’s Hospital for a 14-day assessment.

Left up to the crowd gathered outside the courthouse, however, Lewis would have suffered swift vigilante justice. Lewis was labelled as a “beast”, “devil” and “evil” by the crowd of onlookers. 

On November 28, Cumberbatch was found stuffed inside a barrel inside her family’s apartment in Maloney after a manhunt had been launched for her.

An autopsy stated Cumberbatch died from blunt-force trauma to the head and had been sexually assaulted.

Cumberbatch was reported missing by her mother, Simone Williams, on November 25.

Lewis was taken into police custody on the day Williams was reported missing. He gave a statement to officers investigating Cumberbatch’s disappearance.

On November 26, Lewis was rushed to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope after suffering with asthma. 

He was handcuffed to his hospital bed and was placed under police custody.

On November 29, he was afforded Legal Aid. Lewis was officially charged for Cumberbatch’s murder on December 10.

He was discharged from hospital around 11.30 a.m. yesterday.

Around 1.27 p.m., attorney Fareed Ali appeared at the Arima Magistrates’ Court to represent Lewis. Lewis arrived at the courthouse around 2.10 p.m.

Almost an hour later at 3.06 p.m. Lewis appeared before Cedeno. He wore a cream coloured long sleeved stripped  shirt and khaki long pants.

The complainant, PC Gonzales, was absent.

Ali complained to Cedeno that some of Lewis’s “human rights” had been infringed during his time in police custody.

Ali said “the accused may have been deprived the opportunity to get legal advice” before submitting a statement to investigators.

He said this was “clearly a breach of Section 15 B(1) of the Legal Aid Amendment Act.

Ali said Lewis was deprived of baths, the opportunity to brush his teeth and use the toilet to defecate between the 26 and 29 of November while at the EWMSC in Mt Hope.

During that period Lewis had to urinate in a bottle, Ali said. Lewis’s first stint at hospital ended on November 29.

Ali said Lewis was also not given medication prescribed by doctors to prevent a relapse. Ali said when he went to visit Lewis “he was not smelling good at all”.

Following his time at hospital Lewis was then taken to the Arouca Police Station.

Ali claimed during that period Lewis was made to sit down on a chair for police officers to take photographs of him with their cellphones. He told Cedeno these photographs were being circulated on Blackberry messenger.

Lewis was also on suicide watch during this period. He had his first bath on December 1.

Between 1 to 5 December, Lewis was only allowed to bathe three times, Ali said. Lewis was allowed to brush his teeth for the first time on December 5. On that day, Lewis relapsed and was returned to the Mt Hope hospital for further care.

He was treated for asthma and high blood pressure.

A clinical psychiatric assessment was performed on Lewis at Mt Hope by Dr Adetayo Akingbala between December 9 and 16.

On December 10, Lewis was charged and Ali said this placed his recovery in “jeopardy”.

Ali said under Section 13 (1) of the Mental Health Act he was asking Cedeno to send Lewis to St Ann’s for a “forensic evaluation”.

Ali said if taken to prison Lewis would present a danger to himself and others.

Ali said while at hospital he heard a police officer tell Lewis, “When I had the chance to kill you in Maloney I shoulda do it. Allyuh so don’t deserve to live.”

Ali said when Lewis was brought to court yesterday prisoners threw their food at him.

The prisoners also threatened to kill him when he arrives at the Golden Grove prison, Ali said.

Cedeno ordered that Lewis be sent to St Ann’s for 14 days to be evaluated.

The matter has been adjourned to December 30.

Outside the courthouse, scores of onlookers gathered “to see the man who could do something like that”. The onlookers threatened to castrate, hang, maim and torture Lewis.

When Lewis was being escorted from the courthouse pandemonium broke loose. “And he have the gall to have a rosary round his neck. They should hang him with that!” a woman shouted.

One man who was shouting at Lewis while drinking a beer had to have the bottle taken from him by a female friend. 

A woman with a beer bottle who ran toward the direction of Lewis was grabbed by officers. Another woman was pushed to the ground.

They group screamed and shouted for Lewis to remove his hands from covering his face. Lewis was placed in one police van and then transferred to another. 

One man ran to the back window of the van and pointed threateningly at Lewis.

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