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story.lead_photo.caption Mei Ka Sin

BENTONVILLE — At least five court interpreters will be needed if a 22-year-old facing a capital murder charge in a killing at an Arkansas apartment complex goes to trial.

Mei Ka Sin, who speaks Burmese, is accused of killing one of his roommates at their apartment in the part of Springdale in Benton County.

Rwabuzisoni Daniel died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to court documents. An anonymous caller on July 17, 2017, told Springdale police someone had been shot. Officers found Daniel, 21, dead in one of the units at Chapel Ridge Apartments, 5323 N. Oak St.

Burmese, Karen, Marshallese, Kirundi and Spanish interpreters are needed for the trial, which is set to begin April 8.

The Karen are an ethnic group from Burma. The military government changed the country's name to Myanmar in 1989. The U.S. government continues to use the name Burma, according to the State Department.

Kirundi (or Rundi) belongs to the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family. It has about 6 million speakers, most of whom live in Burundi, a country in east-central Africa, according to Language Inc.

The interpreters will be present in the courtroom and not interpreting by telephone or video.

Joshua Robinson, a Benton County deputy prosecutor, said the different languages and interpreters will present some unique challenges, especially regarding the pace and flow of the presentation of the evidence. Robinson believes a jury will give the case its full attention.

"It is crucial that we seek justice for all members of our community, regardless of these types of challenges," he said. "Even though it is uncommon to have a jury trial with the variety of languages that exists in this case, I do not believe it will hamper our ability to obtain justice for the victim and his family."

Robby Golden, Sin's attorney, said he had never tried a case that needed more than one language interpreted. Cross-examination is the most difficult part with cases involving an interpreter, he said.

"Trying to pace your cadence and arguments so the interpreters have time to actually interpret what is being said is probably second," he said.

A Burmese interpreter is needed to translate the proceedings to Sin, Robinson said.

The Kirundi interpreter is needed to tell Daniel's family what is happening as the trial proceeds, he said. The interpreter may also be called if his family members testify during the trial.

The other interpreters — Marshallese, Spanish and Karen — are needed only for certain witnesses and will not have to be present for the entire trial, he said.

The Burmese and Kirundi interpreters will have to be present throughout the trial, Robinson said.

"We will have to get an exact order of our witnesses in order to assist with the interpreters," Robinson said.

Some of the interpreters will travel from another state for the trial, Robinson said.

The state's Court Interpreter Services has been asked to provide Spanish, Marshallese and an African language interpreter for the trial. Mara Simmons, with court Interpreter Services, said the interpreters will be provided, and they are still waiting to be told which African language will be used at trial.

Simmons said it's not unusual to have cases that involve different languages and numerous interpreters. Simmons said they had a case where they had to provide interpreters for Spanish and sign language, along with Arabic for one of the witnesses.

"It's challenging," Simmons said. "We have time to pull it all together."

A roommate told police he saw Sin and Daniel fight and Sin shot Daniel and then left, according to the probable cause affidavit.

A second witness told police she was in the apartment and saw Sin follow Daniel into a bedroom, according to the affidavit. She heard arguing and then gunshots. She told police Sin was holding a hunting rifle, according to the affidavit.

Police found spent shell casings on a bedroom floor and a shell casing in the bathroom.

Sin is being held without bail in the Benton County Jail. Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty, so Sin, if convicted, will be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.


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  • Skeptic1
    January 29, 2019 at 9:55 a.m.

    Another illegal alien?

  • eaglescout
    January 29, 2019 at 10:03 a.m.

    Is there any way that the cost of this mess can be made public and where the money comes from?

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    January 29, 2019 at 10:24 a.m.

    LoL @ removed statements.
    >>"This is retarded, definitively retarded." (It's still BY THE VERY DEFINITION, retarded.)

    The fact you have to remove that comment is pathetic and juvenile.

  • smmlv3
    January 29, 2019 at 11:14 a.m.

    Another argument for making a good understanding of English a requirement for legal immigration. Also another argument for deporting illegal immigrants.

  • JIMBOB47
    January 29, 2019 at 1:06 p.m.

    So.. WHEN this guy goes to prison for life, are we going to provide INTERPRETERS on the inside also!!??? As stated previously, this scenario is totally ridiculous..

  • BKindOnline
    January 29, 2019 at 1:17 p.m.

    Is this person an illegal immigrant? This is going to take a lot of tax dollars to pay for.

  • Jfish
    January 29, 2019 at 1:22 p.m.

    The good ole American justice system, where attorneys go to cash in.

  • mrcharles
    January 29, 2019 at 1:56 p.m.

    ah, the concern for a death of a creation of a creator! Always these usual suspects bring a tear to the eye over what is suppose to count.

    Bet it costs less than DT's tantrum wall shut down to America.

    As to attorneys, DT doesnt need any, he is so smart. He needs to fire them all and just proceed on his own. A sorta trial by combat, and perhaps the deity will judge him and the issues involved.

    Another gun death?

    Does merica's deity care if an illegal immigrant dies? or only mericans? Or does this deity care at all? I have been told certain request to change the will of the omnicent being knowing its future decisions will be entertained, and some say their feetball team often wins [see Patriots , your fans fight unfair] and their gma gets a banker to give them a mortgage at the last second, so the deity does intervene down here.

  • titleist10
    January 29, 2019 at 2:27 p.m.

    Me Charles why don’t you pay for his interpreters?

  • FireEyes
    January 29, 2019 at 2:37 p.m.

    Mr. Charles, your blasphemy is appalling, disgusting, and shows your socialism. If you love it so much, please avail yourself of the access now available to a prime example of such insanity, i.e., Cuba, and make it a 1-way ticket.

    As to the criminal above, surely the Ark-Dem would have said if he was illegal? Right? In a pig's eye.

    Build the wall, make a solid understanding of English, written and spoken, a requirement for citizenship for legal immigrants. Pack up all the illegals and send them back to nation of origin. We cannot financially continue to be the sugar tit for the entire planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!