Details of a contract for murder were made public during two recent court hearings, in which Sherlock S. Bodden was sentenced to 20 years for attempted murder and Chadwick A. Bodden received three years for being an accessory after the fact to grievous bodily harm.
The two men, both 28, pleaded guilty to involvement in a shooting incident that left the intended victim seriously injured on the night of 20 December, 2005. Each defendant was sentenced on the basis of his own admissions.
Sherlock admitted accepting an offer of $2,500 and said he was provided with a gun and bullets to kill a man living in West Bay. He said he asked Chadwick if he would be interested in getting involved in the job. He said Chadwick did the shooting.
Chadwick said Sherlock did the shooting. He admitted being present, but not knowing what was intended. He admitted helping Sherlock burn his clothing afterwards.
A third man, Tony Tharon Ebanks, had also been charged in connection with the murder plan. However, when his trial was scheduled to start last month, the Crown offered no evidence against him and he was discharged.
Sherlock Bodden was sentenced last Friday by Justice Alexander Henderson, who said he would have handed down a term of life imprisonment, but it would be wrong not to give credit for the guilty plea.
In law, it was irrelevant who did the shooting – Sherlock admitted having the criminal knowledge and intention.
There was no evidence Chadwick knew about the contract or knew beforehand about any intention to shoot someone. Once the shot was fired, however, he helped destroy evidence.
When the judge sentenced Chadwick in April, he started from the maximum of seven years for being an accessory after the fact. He said being an accessory to this kind of offence was more serous than helping a burglary or theft. He considered the appropriate sentence to be four years, with one year discount for the guilty plea.
Chadwick was represented by Attorney Ben Tonner and Richard Christie, QC.
Senior Crown Counsel Andre Mon Desir told the court that the intended victim was Raymond Powery Ebanks, 56. Mr. Powery had come from Cuba about 10 years ago and was working for a utility company.
Mr. Mon Desir said investigations showed that Mr. Powery was not engaging in any criminal activity and had no previous convictions.
The judge asked about a motive for the shooting.
Mr. Mon Desir quoted from Sherlock’s statement. He had been approached by someone who knew someone else who wanted some guy ‘taken out’.
Defence Attorney John Furniss said Sherlock agreed partly because he was frightened of what would happen if he refused and partly because it was near Christmas and he was short of money. He said Sherlock knew the intended target by sight, but not personally.
After accepting the offer, Sherlock went to a restaurant, where he spoke to Chadwick and asked if he would be interested in getting involved in the job. Chadwick said he was broke and would be happy to get involved. The two had known each other from school days.
Sherlock saw his contact later and was provided with a gun, ammunition, surgical gloves and a hooded jacket. He then returned to where Chadwick was and the two remained there drinking.
Sometime after 8pm they left by bicycle to an area near Mr. Powery’s house. They watched from a nearby footpath.
A neighbour came walking along the path. He recognised Sherlock but not the other man, who had turned his back. Both were dressed in dark clothing. Sherlock said ‘Shhh – don’t say anything’ and the neighbour left the area.
Then a car pulled up in the yard. Mr. Powery was shot in the face shortly after exiting the vehicle. His wife was with him and she called 911.
Meanwhile Sherlock and Chadwick fled the scene. After disposing of the gloves and setting fire to the hooded top that was worn, they went to a bar and drank. They then went to Sherlock’s house, where they spent the night.
Sherlock later went to a restaurant and got $1,300 from another man. The person who first made him the offer said Sherlock was lucky to get that much because the job had not been done.
Sherlock gave Chadwick $650 and said he used the rest to pay bills and buy Christmas presents.
Chadwick told police he gave his girlfriend $100 and drank up the rest.
Mr. Powery was flown to Jamaica for surgery. The bullet had entered his face about an inch below his right eye. The bullet fractured the cheekbone and damaged muscles. The surgeon removed a tooth and a .38 bullet.
Since the shooting, Mr. Powery has had multiple complications. In addition to vision problems with his one remaining good eye, he has had two heart attacks and a stroke. He has had to be airlifted to Miami and Jamaica. His expenses are in excess of US$25,000.