Former Cayman murder suspect arrested in US

A Cayman Islands man who was released from custody last week following a Court of Appeal decision that overturned a previous murder conviction against him is now sitting in the Broward County, Florida lock up.

According to Broward Sheriff’s Department officials, Mikkyle Brandon Leslie – also known as Brandon Leslie-Ebanks – was jailed after his arrest by US Marshals at the Miami International Airport Tuesday.

A sheriff’s spokesperson said there were no charges listed against Leslie in the department’s court records and said the only reason the sheriff’s office knew of the arrest was because Leslie was in their jail.

Representatives with the US Marshall’s service in Florida did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the arrest.

After hearing two days of legal arguments last week, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal overturned the convictions of Patrick Elbert McField, Osbourne Wilfred Douglas and Leslie for the 2009 murder of Omar Barton Samuels.

The appellants, all in their mid-20s, were convicted after trial by jury in September 2010. They were given the only sentence available in Cayman, which is imprisonment for life.

On 1 December, Court President Justice John Chadwick read the decision reached by him and Justices Elliot Mottley and A. Campbell. He said the convictions were quashed and the sentences set aside. He directed a verdict of acquittal for each man.

The president said the judges would put their reasons in writing. He did explain the appeals were allowed on the one ground they had in common. He said the judge who presided at the trial, 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.

The court did not order a retrial. The Caymanian Compass will carry the Court of Appeal’s reasons for acquittal when they are released.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Mr Leslie-Ebanks will find the Florida legal system much different from what he experienced here in Cayman. He will also find Florida prisons much different from that in Northward.

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