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Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes has vowed to remain resolute in his quest for justice for the ‘Henry Boys.’
Monday September 6, 2021, will mark one year since the mutilated bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were found at Cotton Tree backdam, West Coast Berbice, but the family has not gotten any justice.
In a brief interview with the Village Voice News, Hughes said: “I remain fully committed to bringing justice to the families of both Isaiah and Joel. They have been quite substantial obstacles in the path. We have reservations about the process that has been adopted by the State in the institution of the charges; we have made available repeatedly to the State the highest level of international forensic assistance, which the State continues to refuse.”
The distinguished legal counsel said he will continue to support the families despite the obstacles. “I will continue to pursue and ensure that the true perpetrators of the murders of Isaiah and Joel are brought to justice. We will not be deterred by the reluctance of the State to rely upon the best forensic case that can be built but we will insist and engage with local and foreign law enforcement and other agencies in ensuring that the true perpetrators of these murders are brought to justice.”
Hughes in the past had told this newspaper that Guyana’s highest authorities in Government and law enforcement run the risk of causing the Henry Boys’ killings to become a ‘cold case’ if outdated methods of investigation are relied on and slothful efforts continue towards seeking international assistance.
He said then that nothing he has seen thus far from those working to crack the case surrounding the gruesome murders gives him the confidence that the utmost urgency is being taken. “There’s nothing that I’m aware of now that leads me to believe that we’re any closer to solving this than we were two weeks ago or four weeks ago, absolutely nothing, and that’s not a good place to be,” Hughes said.
On September 6, the bodies of 19-year-old Joel was found with wounds across the body, seven to eight chops to the head, and defensive wounds in both palms from a sharp object. It was concluded, from those injuries, that he fell to the ground then received a chop to his back 14 inches x 3 and 6 inches deep that severed his spine. There was also evidence that he bit his tongue and his throat was slit.
The body of 16-year-old Isaiah was also found with a severed spine. His wound was 14 inches long, 4 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Isaiah received several chops to his head, and his throat too was slit, almost to sever his head from his neck. Attorney Hughes said that there is nothing about these events that have led lawyers on the case to believe that it was an average execution. “This was a bad case that came to Guyana at a bad time. If we don’t solve this, we’re in real trouble,” he said.
Hughes was also part of a team that brought top forensic scientists here to help solve the case, but the team’s efforts were stymied with the government refusing to grant them access to the files on the case and other evidence.
The Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forensica-EAAF) which has worked on high profile cases in many parts of the world has offered to send a team to Guyana including a forensic pathologist, a forensic anthropologist and a forensic radiologist, a joint statement by the Guyana Police Force, Guyana Human Rights Association and the Hughes Fields and Stoby chambers said.