Fresh evidence announced in Jeffers’ murder appeal

The Court of Appeal announced Monday that, based on arguments heard in July, it would have dismissed the appeal of Raziel Jeffers against his conviction for the murder of Marcus Leon Ebanks in July 2009 in West Bay. 

Mr. Ebanks, 20, was fatally shot while sitting with others in a yard off Bonaventure Road in Grand Cayman. Two of them were injured – one left paralysed from the waist down. 

However, the appeal is not finally concluded because new information about gunshot residue became available after the summer session ended. 

The court gave Jeffers’ attorney, Richard Barton, permission to apply to amend the grounds of appeal and to introduce the new evidence. 

Court President Sir John Chadwick said the applications would be heard during this session, which continues through next week. 

Jeffers, 29, was found guilty after trial by judge alone. Justice Charles Quin gave his judgment in February.  

The grounds already heard, and ruled on, had been based on assertions that identification evidence from one of the shooting victims was unreliable and that Jeffers’ former girlfriend was not credible when she said he had confessed to her that he shot Marcus by mistake, thinking he was another man in the yard. 

A preliminary ground was that Justice Quin should not have sat for the judge-alone trial because he had seen information in an earlier witness anonymity hearing and other material that would be prejudicial against Jeffers. Defence attorneys argued that this circumstance gave rise to the appearance of bias on the part of the judge. The Court of Appeal did not agree. On Monday, Justice Chadwick noted that the July appeal had been heard by him, Justice Elliott Mottley and Justice Abdullah Conteh. The three had reached their conclusions on all the grounds argued and dismissed those grounds. 

The court for the winter session consists of him, Justice Mottley and Justice Anthony Campbell. They will hear the applications to amend grounds and to bring new evidence. 

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