Second accused faces two killings charge
DOUBLE murder accused Raymond Keota faced the court on Wednesday, hours after he was brought over to Honiara from Malaita in a police speed craft.
Keota was arrested in an early morning raid at Fourere village in north Malaita last Sunday.
He is now co-accused with Jimson Goufi, who surrendered to police earlier at his Adatolo village in the Baegu region, also in Malaita.
Both men escaped to Malaita with large amounts of cash after they allegedly killed a Chinese business couple at their shop at Town Ground, west Honiara, on Easter weekend.
In court yesterday, police alleged Keota turned up at about 8.30pm on 15 April at the LGZ shop as was planned with Goufi, who was the couple’s security guard.
Earlier before 7pm, police alleged Goufi shut up all windows before he walked to the main door facing the road and from inside wind down the door.
Before winding down the door, Keota walked freely inside the shop before Goufi fully wind down the door.
As soon as Keota entered the shop, he allegedly pulled out a long bush knife tied with a rubber on its handle, jumped on top the shop counter and with no time wasted, struck Lao (husband) who was busy with business papers.
“Keota landed the knife on the victim for the second time before Goufi intervened and got hold of the same bush knife and repeatedly strike it on the victim, which subsequently landed him on the floor laying in a prone helpless condition,” police alleged.
It was also alleged that Yuegui (wife), who was busy with her cooking heard something unusual at the shop and rushed to check.
When Keota saw her, he allegedly went straight at her at the Kaibar (take away shop) and attacked her with a kitchen knife.
“Keota led her back to the kitchen and continued attacking her before giving one fatal wound straight on her throat.”
Police alleged after observing that she was no longer breathing, both accused helped themselves looting money from the shop cashier and bottle shop, packed it in a school bag before exiting the building.
It was the following morning when Goufi and the other female workers of the shop went to work that they discovered the couple were dead.
Police alleged it was Goufi who climbed the fence and went into the building and upon his return informed the female workers the couple were lying dead inside the shop.
Goufi first escaped from police in Malaita but then surrendered on 15 May.
Keota was arrested six days later on May 21.
Police Prosecutor Mosese Tetoa yesterday applied for a 14 day remand for Keota before Principal Magistrate Augustine Aulanga.
Mr Aulanga granted the remand application and had Keota remanded in custody to May 30.
Goufi will also appear in court on that day.
Keota is yet to get a lawyer.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN