Ex-murder suspects released, re-arrested

One man has his murder conviction overturned, goes right back in lock up, only to find himself free less than a week later.

Another man has his murder conviction overturned, is released free and clear and then finds himself in a Florida jail less than a week later.

US authorities identified Mikkyle Brandon Leslie – also known as Brandon Leslie-Ebanks – as the latter of the two men. Leslie was jailed after his arrest on Tuesday by US Marshals at Miami International Airport.

A Broward County, Florida 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. He was still jailed in Florida at press time, according to sheriff’s officials.

Representatives with the US Marshall’s service in Florida did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the arrest. A prosecutor with the US Attorneys office in the southern district of Florida declined to comment on the matter.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, Leslie was accused of illegal firearm transport and exportation from the United States.

A probable cause affidavit filed by an agent with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives alleged that Leslie purchased at least nine firearms in the Miami-Dade County area and was also the purchaser of a refrigerator shipped to Grand Cayman from Florida on 13 November, 2008.

“At the time of the seizure of the refrigerator, the refrigerator was found to contain approximately five semi-automatic pistols … approximately 800 rounds of ammunition in various calibers and firearm magazines,” the indictment states.

A detention hearing was set for Leslie in US district court on Monday, 12 December.

Suspect bailed

A 25-year-old man arrested in connection with a deadly shooting in George Town this past September has been released on police bail, according to his attorney.

The man, identified as Osbourne Douglas, was arrested and taken into custody at the George Town court house the same day he had a previous murder conviction against him overturned. It was the same murder case in which Brandon Leslie had his conviction overturned.

Douglas was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder in relation to 18-year-old Jason Christian’s slaying on 19 September. No charges have been filed.

A second victim, 22-year-old Keith Montique, was also shot in the 19 September attack on Crewe Road, but survived.

An RCIPS police patrol officer answering an unrelated incident around 9.30pm that evening on Birchwood Drive, was approached by an injured Mr. Montique, who staggered up to the police car and opened the door saying he had just been shot.

As the officer was transporting the gunshot victim, who had been shot four times, to the Cayman Islands Hospital, the wounded man told him his friend had also been shot and was still in nearby Cranbrook Drive.

When police went to Cranbrook Drive, they found Mr. Christian in the driver’s seat of a white Toyota LiteAce van. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

Convictions overturned

After hearing two days of legal arguments, the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal overturned the convictions of Patrick Elbert McField, 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 its evidence.

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

Comments are closed.