Feb 28, 1980 • 1925 • Georgetown-State • 0890

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 2409 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

UNCLASSIFIED

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

0 281925Z FEB 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1813
INFO ZEN/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0890
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR, GY, (LAYTON, LARRY J.), (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJ: LAYTON TRIAL ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY
REF: GEORGETOWN 0768

1. DAILY CHRONICLE OF THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1980, ANNOUNCED THAT THE TRIAL OF LARRY LAYTON WOULD COMMENCE APRIL 1, 1980, CONTRARY TO INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY GIVEN TO CONSUL (AND REPORTED PARA 2 REFTEL). NEWSPAPER STORY REPORTED THAT LAYTON WOULD BE CHARGED WITH ONLY ONE COUNT OF ATTEMPTED MURDER: OF VERN GOSNEY.

2. A CHARGE [OF] ATTEMPTED MURDER CARRIES THE POTENTIAL MAXIMUM PENALTY OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT. THE CHRONICLE ACCOUNT ADDED THAT “… BUT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THIS SENTENCE COULD BE IMPOSED ON (LAYTON) IF HE IS FOUND GUILTY.” CHRONICLE STORY ATTRIBUTES THE FACT THAT LAYTON IS NOT BEING CHARGED WITH THE ATTEMPTED MURDERS OF DALE PARKS AND MONICA BAGBY TO THE FACT THAT THEY DID NOT RETURN TO GIVE EVIDENCE AT THE SECOND PRELIMINARY INQUIRY.

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 00890 281937Z

3. CONSUL SPOKE AGAIN TODAY (2/28/80) WITH DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS EMANUEL RAMAO WHO INDICATED THAT, AS A RESULT OF HIS LATEST CONVERSATIONS WITH LAYTON’S ATTORNEY REX MCKAY, HE ANTICIPATES A PLEA OF NOT RPT [REPEAT] NOT GUILTY. HE THEREFORE ESTIMATES THAT THE TRIAL WILL LAST APPROXIMATELY ONE WEEK AND THAT HE WILL REQUIRE THE PRESENCE IN GUYANA BY APRIL 2, 1980, OF VERN GOSNEY AND ODELL RHODES.

ROBERTS [George B. Roberts, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

UNCLASSIFIED

Originally posted on June 13th, 2022.

Last modified on July 27th, 2022.
Skip to main content