(Editor’s note: This is a cable from the files of the State Department that was included in the FBI’s 2009 RYMUR release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It was not included in the State Department’s own release, but we have included identifying information for it using the agency’s designations.)
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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]
P R 131724Z MAY 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2485
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 2244
BOGOTA FOR LEGATT
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: USJR, GY (LAYTON, LARRY)
SUBJ: TRIAL OF US CITIZEN LARRY LAYTON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER
1. On the seventh day of the trial of former People’s Temple member US citizen Lawrence [Laurence] Layton, courtroom testimony from Dr. Bogin [Gobin] and newspaperman Neville Annibourne. Dr. Gobin testified that he had a Cuban doctor, Dr. Agramonte, had removed two .38 caliber bullets from Monica Bagby and that they had turned these bullets over to the police. Senior counsel for the defense Rex McKay insisted that no positive identification had ever been made of Monica Bagby. According to McKay, the state had failed to prove that the “so-called” Monica Bagby wounded at Port Kaituma on November 18, 1978, had been the same “so-called” Monica Bagby treated in Georgetown by Gobin and Agramonte. Presiding judge Lindsey Collins rejected McKay’s arguments.
2. Guyanese Ministry of Information officer Neville Annibourne testified about his experience at Port Kaituma
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on November 18, 1978. Annibourne had accompanied the late Congressman Leo Ryan’s party to Jonestown and had been a witness to the shootings at Port Kaituma. He admitted under questioning from McKay that he had not seen Layton do any of the shooting.
3. During Annibourne’s testimony, the brother of Lawrence Layton, Thomas, who was in attendance at the trial, angrily protested to Emboff [Embassy officer] that one of Layton’s court guards was reading confidential material handed to Lawrence Layton by McKay over Layton’s shoulder. Emboff notified the prosecutor who immediately instructed the guard to cease. Thomas Layton said he would file an “official protest as an American citizen” over the matter.
4. The trial will continue on May 14.
Roberts [George B. Roberts, Jr., American ambassador to Guyana]