Murder convictions overturned

Three acquitted of murdering Omar Samuels

Patrick McField and Brandon Leslie Ebanks were released from
custody around 4pm Tuesday after they and Osbourne Douglas had their convictions
for murder overturned.

The three had been accused of murdering Omar Barton Samuels
in July 2009. They were convicted after trial by jury in September 2010. The
Court of Appeal heard arguments on their behalf Monday and Tuesday.

Osbourne Douglas was not released from custody, but was
arrested. His attorney, Clyde Allen, told reporters he did not know the details
of the charge. He said he had been told that his client would be interviewed by
police on Wednesday. 

The decision of the Court of Appeal was announced by Sir John
Chadwick, court president. He said the trial judge, Justice Charles Quin, erred
in law when he failed to withdraw the case from the jury following defence
submissions of “no case to answer” after the prosecution had finished presenting
all of its evidence.

Attorney Trevor Burke made the argument first, on behalf of
McField. He submitted that the Crown’s two main witnesses gave a version of
events that was inconsistent with the physical evidence.

He said the forensic evidence that the shooting of Omar
Samuels occurred in one area was so strong that no jury properly directed could
believe it happened in another area.

He quoted a well-known principle: Where the judge comes to
the conclusion that the prosecution evidence, taken at its highest, is such that
a jury properly directed could not properly convict upon it, it is his duty to
stop the case when such a submission is made.

Mr. Burke was assisted by Attorney Ben Tonner.

The other attorneys adopted his basic argument and added
points specific to their client.

Ebanks was represented by Attorneys Nicholas Rhodes and Nick
Dixey.

Hearing the appeal with Justice Chadwick were Justices Elliot
Mottley and A. Campbell.

 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This Judge Alone trial is grauanteed to set the criminals free.

    IT DOES NOT WORK IN THIS SMALL PLACE. the judge is scared of the murderer who gets a clear view of him.

    THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT MUST STOP THIS JUDGE ALONE TRIAL AND DO IT NOW! URGENTLY ABOLISH SIT INSTANTLY BEFORE 2012

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  2. Vietnam

    Which trial are you referring to ?

    Its certainly not the one being reported on.

    An emotional response without reading the full facts in the report helps no one.

    Read the report again; this was a jury trial, not a judge alone trial.

    The trial judge in a jury case is there to ascertain that the evidence being presented by both the prosecution (the Crown) and the defense meets acceptable judicial standards and to instruct the jury on the law on which that evidence should be examined when the case is presented to the jury for a verdict.

    In this case the evidence did not meet those standards to start with and the defense pointed this out repeatedly during the trial.

    Trial judges do err from time to time in their judgements, they are only human, just like the rest of us.

    That is why the Court of Appeal exists; to re-examine a case that’s been appealed and in this case, decided in favour of the defense, that the evidence presented did not prove that their clients were guilty of this murder and that the trial judge should not have sent the case to a jury for a verdict but declared that the defendants had no case to answer to.

    In effect, it is the same as acquitting them of the charges, which the jury should have done, based on the evidence before them.

    If you need anyone to direct your anger at, it should be toward the RCIPS and Crown prosecution for gathering and presenting such questionable evidence on which to press a murder charge against defendants, who by all the evidence presented, are innocent of this murder.

    It looks like justice has prevailed in this case.

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  3. If most of the commentors on this case knew the accused and victim personally, they would know that none of these parties are any angels.

    They would also know that this particular area of George Town, McField Square, is a week-end gathering place for all types or people, from all walks of life, non-criminal and criminal…

    On any given Friday or Saturday night,politicians, professionals, police and criminals regularly rub shoulders with each other…that is the nature of Cayman.

    And that when gang members meet up there, things are bound to happen.

    The victim, as he himself reportedly told a witness while dying, could easily have been disarmed and shot with his own weapon by someone he was in dispute with…

    That is the nature of McField Square

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  4. Firey,

    I’m referring to a case on this week where the guy chose judge alone and walked free. I simply threw in this recent victory for these other three persons acquitted as well. No prejudice or bias intended.
    Stressing Judge alone trial is No good.

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  5. Support @fiery re the anger and frustrations should be directed primarily at the RCIPS and Prosecution for not providing the evidence/case to get a conviction in the first place.

    The recently proposed changes in the Penal Code will make it easier for police to arrest and this too gives the public a very FASLE sense of security. Until the cops hired, who have no understanding of the law and rights of citizens will take their ‘powers of arrest’ for granted and the ‘wrong’ innocent person who will have to prove their innocence under these new laws. Then people will finally appreciate the injustice of being arrested without proper procedure and credible evidence, because remember, these laws do not only apply to gangs!

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