Former Mentor contestant jailed for life for manslaughter

In a notable case, Bismark Ato Foster, a former contestant of a television reality show, has been handed a life imprisonment sentence for the charge of manslaughter. The incident in question occurred on September 26, 2016, at Nungua Coco-Beach, where Bismark Ato Foster was accused of causing the death of Razak Mohammed. The charges brought against him included murder and the use of an offensive weapon.

Despite pleading not guilty to both charges, Bismark Ato Foster was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury consisting of seven members. The jury initially returned a 6-1 guilty verdict for both charges, but after further deliberations, they revised their decision, finding him guilty of manslaughter and the use of an offensive weapon.

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Presiding over the case at the Criminal Court ‘3’, Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh sentenced Bismark Ato Foster to life imprisonment. In addition, he received a 25-year sentence for the charge of using an offensive weapon. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

During the trial, the defense counsel made a plea for mitigation, requesting leniency for their client. They emphasized that Bismark Ato Foster was a first-time offender who had displayed remorse throughout the proceedings. The defense further highlighted his young age, his conduct during the trial, and his potential for a successful future. They argued that the incident leading to the death of Razak Mohammed was purely accidental and that the defendant had the sole responsibility of protecting his family’s property.

However, the prosecution opposed the plea for mitigation, considering the gravity of the offense committed. They contended that the use of an offensive weapon resulting in a fatality should be met with the maximum punishment of life imprisonment, serving as a deterrent to others who might engage in similar acts.

After considering the arguments from both sides, Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh imposed a life sentence on Bismark Ato Foster.

Following the sentencing, the legal team representing the defendant expressed their intention to appeal against the conviction and the subsequent sentencing, indicating their dissatisfaction with the outcome.

The case involved a dispute over land between the complainant, Ebenezer Ekow Ayaim, and the accused. The complainant reported multiple instances of unauthorized activity on his undeveloped plot of land, leading to a police recommendation for Razak Mohammed and his colleagues to supply materials for the construction of a fence wall. On the day of the incident, while inspecting the land, a confrontation occurred, and Bismark Ato Foster discharged a pump-action gun, resulting in the death of Razak Mohammed and injury to another individual.

Key witnesses, including the complainant Ebenezer Ekow Ayaim, building contractor Stephen Ansah, police officer G/CPL Dei-Ofori Ceaser, and CID Detective Chief Inspector Osei Yeboah, provided testimonies recounting the events leading up to the shooting and the subsequent investigation.

This case drew significant attention due to the involvement of a former television reality show contestant, and it highlighted the importance of due process and fair judgment in cases involving violent offenses.

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