A TOBAGO man has been sentenced to hang for the 2009 double murder of two teenage boys whose bodies were found close to each other at French Fort, Scarborough.
Alvaro Ayers, also known as Josey Wales, was convicted on Wednesday by Justice Althea Alexis-Windsor at the end of a judge-only virtual trial.
He was sentenced to hang for the murders of Kolen Salandy 16, and Rondell Thomas, 15, on September 19, 2009.
Before the death sentence was read to him, Ayers insisted, “I am not guilty.”
Ayers was charged with another man, Gary Mohammed.
In October 2009, Mohammed was killed in a shootout with the police in the Moruga forest. He and another man were hiding in a camp when police approached them.
Mohammed had a Tobago address but was originally from Ste Madeleine.
Ayers, who had three addresses in Tobago — at Bethel, Mason Hall, and Bagatelle No 1 in Scarborough – surrendered to the police.
He was represented by attorneys Amerelle Francis and Josiah Soo Hon.
Sixteen-year-old Salandy, of Patience Hill, was a past student of Bishop’s High School, Tobago, who was enrolled to do A-Levels at the UWI School of Continuing Studies (UWI Sixth Form) at Signal Hill. Thomas was a form three student of Signal Hill Secondary Comprehensive School.
An autopsy report said the teenagers died from blunt force cervical trauma and broken necks.
Giselle Ferguson-Heller prosecuted.
Days after the boys’ murder, then chief secretary of the THA, Orville London, condemned the slayings, describing the act a barbaric. He called for swift justice.
"Any violent crime has to be condemned, but when you have crimes against the very young, that is barbarous, and it should be condemned in the strongest manner."
He said the boys’ murder could not be tolerated, adding that the killings had shocked Tobago and affected the island.