By Christina Carrega
BQ Daily Eagle
It’s been more than two years since five Guyanese nationals were charged in connection to the murder of an aspiring teen filmmaker from London with family ties in Brooklyn and Queens. On Friday, the judge presiding over the pretrial hearings will decide if there is sufficient evidence to move the case over to a higher court and go to trial.
In October 2015, Dominic Bernard planned a trip from Epsom, England to Guyana, South America to not only learn about his family’s heritage, but to capture it on camera. Bernard dreamed of becoming a filmmaker, his family said.
Bernard, 18, packed up his film equipment, carried $2,000 in cash and made plans with his godbrother Aaron Hing to pick him up from the airport for the three-week vacation. The teen bid his parents Linda and Andrew goodbye, but did not return home on Nov. 5, 2015, as expected.
“My son’s grave was dug and waiting for him — literally — before he left London to go to Guyana,” the victim’s mother Linda, 54, told the Eagle from Guyana. “His murder was planned.”
In January 2016, Bernard’s decomposing body was found in a shallow grave. He suffered a skull fracture and broken neck, according to BBC News.
Hing, 24, and Staymon George, 25, were charged with Bernard’s murder in February 2016. Three others — Krystal Thomas, 22, Sisanie Henry, 41 and Jahmil Sinclair, 20 — were charged with lesser murder-related offenses for helping Hing and George with burying Dominic’s camera equipment and were released on bail.
Hing and George allegedly confessed to the crime.
For three years, Bernard’s family — which also has ties in Long Island — has been waiting for justice. They traveled from New York and Europe to attend the court hearing on Friday.
“The judge will decide if the matter moves forward, and we hope the individuals charged will be tried for Dominic’s murder,” said the family in a joint statement.
If convicted of murder by a jury, Hing and George face the death penalty, according to the laws of Guyana.