A Grand Court jury has been told a man who was “savagely beaten to death” could have been the victim of a hate crime against homosexuals.
Prosecutor Simon Russell Flint, QC, opened the trial Wednesday against Chad Jonathan Anglin, who is accused of killing banker Frederic Bise on Feb. 8, 2008, in West Bay.
Mr. Bise, a Swiss national, moved to the Cayman Islands with his wife and their two young children in 2001. The couple divorced in 2005 after Mr. Bise started to change the way he dressed and behaved, and his wife began to suspect he had homosexual tendencies, the court heard.
In the prosecutor’s case, Mr. Flint suggested the death may have been related to a gay hate crime, a robbery, or the result of a sexual act.
The jury was shown CCTV footage of the victim on the night of his death at a West Bay jerk chicken stand, where he was approached by Anglin. Witnesses stated the two left in Mr. Bise’s car around 1 a.m. Mr. Bise had previously been at Kelly’s Bar.
The prosecutor stated it was the last time Mr. Bise was seen alive. His body was recovered in the trunk of his vehicle after being “horrifically and brutally” killed.
Mr. Bise had suffered a severe beating with a blunt object, consistent with the shape of a breeze block, and had possibly been strangled. He had no injuries on his hands or knuckles indicating he did not defend himself.
Medical experts determined that Mr. Bise died before his body was placed in the trunk, wrapped in a blanket, and the vehicle was set alight. Twigs and leaves were found on his body, indicating he may have been killed elsewhere, the jurors heard.
Forensic evidence showed Mr. Bise had engaged in sex shortly before his death, but experts were unable to get a DNA sample from the traces of semen found.
The court heard that DNA from cigarette butts on Mr. Bise’s patio and near his burned vehicle matched Anglin’s DNA.
Anglin is accused of killing Mr. Bise in a joint enterprise with another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Mr. Flint told jurors it was known by witnesses at Kelly’s Bar that the defendant did not like homosexuals and that Anglin had confessed to a teenage friend, telling her he had “burned the gay man and put him in the trunk of the car.”
Anglin was unable to provide police officers with his clothing that was seen on the camera footage, but he denied killing Mr. Bise, saying he only met with him that night to sell him some ganja.
Mr. Bise had been socializing with friends the night of his death and had sent text messages to two males, one of them a casual sex partner with whom he had planned to meet later that evening.
The friend fell asleep when Mr. Bise did not arrive and awoke to numerous missed calls from the victim, including a voice mail message that was just the recorded sound of wind.
A former house mate of Mr. Bise, who rented him the property outside of which his body was found, said she had started to see changes in his personality in the months before his death and had asked him to find alternate accommodation as she felt her safety was at risk by his partying lifestyle.
The court also heard from a former casual sexual partner of Mr. Bise who stated the two had been involved a threesome with another male, and that Mr. Bise had liked to have sex outdoors.
Defense attorney Jonathan Rees cross-examined both witnesses on Thursday before the court heard from a pathologist in the United States through video link.
The trial continues before Justice Alex Henderson.