May 06, 1980 • 1925 • Georgetown-State • 2098

P R 061925Z MAY 80
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2010
INFO AMEMBASSY BOGOTÁ
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 2098
E.O. 12065: N
TAGS: CARR GY (LAYTON, LAWRENCE)
SUBJ: TRIAL OF US CITIZEN LAWRENCE LAYTON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

1. The second day of the trial of US citizen People’s Temple member Lawrence Layton for the attempted murder of Vernon Gosney and Monica Bagby at Port Kaituma on November 18, 1978, saw Presiding Judge Collins declare that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had made a “prima facie” case for the indictment of Layton. Senior defense counsel Rex McKay had challenged the DPP’s indictment of Layton on procedural grounds and had unsuccessfully requested the court to quash the indictment. After the judge ruling a jury of ten men and two women was selected.

2. McKay repeatedly interrupted the testimony of key prosecution witness Vernon Gosney claiming that the prosecutor was not only leading the witness but in fact also presenting fresh evidence without first notifying

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the defense as required by law. Judge Collins overruled all of McKay’s objections.

3. McKay will continue with his cross-examination of Gosney on May 7.

ROBERTS [George B. Roberts, Jr., American ambassador to Guyana]

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE

Originally posted on June 16th, 2022.

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