Anglin guilty of Bise murder

Chad Jonathan Anglin has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of the 2008 murder of Swiss banker Frederick Bise in West Bay.

Jurors took around three hours to reach a unanimous verdict in Grand Court on Monday. The trial began on May 7.

Anglin, 34, showed no emotion as jurors delivered the verdict before Justice Alexander Henderson in a courtroom with no family or friends present. Anglin is currently serving a five-year sentence for indecent assault and wounding in connection with an incident in June 2010. The murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.

Before the jury retired to deliberate, Justice Henderson reminded them of aspects of the evidence.

The unchallenged evidence was that Mr. Bise died of injuries caused during an assault by one or more persons on the night of Feb. 7-8 2008. His body was found in the trunk of his burned car outside his residence.

Anglin was accused with another person of murdering Mr. Bise. The other person cannot be named for legal reasons. The crown suggested robbery or homophobia as possible motives.

Justice Henderson told jurors their verdict must be unanimous. He suggested they approach their deliberations by considering four questions: Decide whether they were sure that death was caused by injuries inflicted by one or more persons; if so, decide whether they were sure Anglin was present during the assault; if so, decide whether they were sure he took an active part in the assault; and if so, decide whether they were sure he either intended to cause death or serious harm or knew the assault would probably cause death or serious bodily harm and remained indifferent to whether Mr. Bise died or suffered serious bodily harm.

If the answer to any of those questions was no, they would find the defendant not guilty. If the answer was yes, they should find him guilty.

Anglin elected not to give evidence, but defense attorney Jonathan Rees reminded jurors on Friday that Anglin, in various statements to police, denied involvement. Prosecutor Simon Russell Flint told jurors some of those statements were lies. If jurors were not sure Anglin deliberately told the alleged lies, they were to ignore them, the judge said.

If they were sure the statements were lies, they had to consider why he told them. The judge read in detail from the evidence of a crown witness who told the court that Anglin had confessed to her several weeks after Mr. Bise’s murder. He noted that the witness was 15 at the time.

The witness told Mr. Flint that Anglin said he would burn her in a car as he had done to a gay man. She said he had said it was him and a friend, but gave no details.

Justice Henderson said if jurors accepted that Anglin said these things and they were true, it amounted to a confession.

The judge continued that when Mr. Rees cross-examined the witness, she agreed she had told the first officer who interviewed her that Anglin had said he was accused of Bise’s murder. She also agreed that Anglin had not wanted to get into trouble over being with her on days when police were looking for her after she ran away from home. Justice Henderson pointed out that an admission to being a suspect was not a confession.

In re-examination, Mr. Flint read from a statement the witness had made the day after her first statement in April 2008. In it, she related how Anglin told her he was involved in the murder of the gay man – how they killed him and burned him.

Justice Henderson said jurors should consider which version was correct: Did Anglin say he was involved, or did he say no more than he was accused? The judge described the difference as crucial.

Following the verdict, the defense would not comment on whether they would appeal.

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