BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – A 23-year-old man identified as Bill Kollie has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering his brother-in-law, Patrick T. Kwenah after he found Kwenah beating his wife.
The incident took place May 10, 2019, in Simeon Camp at the Liberia Plantation Company in Grand Bassa’s fourth District.
The ruling came at the Second Judicial Circuit Court.
The indictment leading to the trial noted that Kollie saw Kwenah beating Kollie’s sister and the wife of Kwenah, Julie Dolo. The beating rendered Dolo unconscious and the defendant retaliated by using a sharp object to stab the deceased on his neck, which led to his death.
The indictment said after Kollie killed his brother-in-law, he “escaped into the bush with the sharp object used to perpetrate the crime.”
During the trial proceedings, the prosecution’s first witness, Obadiah S. Yolo, the brother of the deceased, testified that on Friday, May 10, 2019, he awoke and heard a noise and later saw Kwenah and his wife Dolo fighting.
Yolo told the court both he and Kollie were on the scene to intervene, at which point Yolo said he was most concerned about getting his sister-in-law Dolo medical treatment.
However, Yolo said Kollie was incensed that his sister had been beaten by her husband and he wanted retribution.
“Your brother beat my sister, but I am going and I will know what to do,” Yolo said he heard Kollie say. “Later, I heard people saying that the defendant killed Patrick [Kwenah] and that where he did the killing is about three minutes’ walk from his house.”
Yolo told jurors he never had the opportunity to speak with the defendant after the incident and that he did not know what ensued between Kollie, the defendant, and Kwenah, the deceased.
However, Yolo said Julie Dolo is now doing well and has recovered.
The prosecution’s second witness, Daniel Klay, was a police officer who said he received information regarding Kwenah’s death on May 11, 2019, prompting officers to immediately launch an investigation into the matter.
He said the defendant was arrested May 13, 2019, after his escape from the crime scene on May 10, 2019.
Klay said police found that the defendant had used “a sharp object believed to be a weapon used to fishing for frog” to injure and kill the deceased, although the investigative team never found the weapon used to commit the act.
Throughout the trial, Kollie admitted to the crime, but given that the severity of the offense, the guilty plea was set aside by the court and a not guilty plea was entered into for the trial of the defendant, consistent with the law.
Judge Joe S. Barkon, giving the final judgment, said, “This court hereby confirms and affirms the unanimous guilty verdict of the trial jurors brought against defendant Bill Kollie for the commission of the crime of murder and it is considered final judgment of this court that the defendant is hereby sentenced for 25 years of imprisonment for the commission of the crime of murder.”
Kollie was escorted to the Buchanan Central Prison Compound after the final verdict.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah