Murder defendants choose trial by judge alone

Woman present at shooting does not identify gunmen, Crown says

Justice Alexander Henderson is expected to hear evidence on Friday about the fatal shooting of Robert Macford Bush, 28, in West Bay on the night of Sept. 13, 2011. 

Charged with murdering Mr. Bush are Brian Emmanuel Borden and David Joseph Tamasa. Both men entered pleas of not guilty on Wednesday and elected to be tried by judge alone. 

Lead prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe told the court he would formally open the Crown’s case on Thursday and call his first witness on Friday, via video link. 

He explained that the witness, Myra Ebanks, is not on island and arrangements had to be confirmed for use of video link facilities. 

He described Ms. Ebanks as the girlfriend of Mr. Bush. He said she lived just off Captains Joe and Osbert Road, which is a road off Birch Tree Hill Road in West Bay. On most evenings, Mr. Bush would drive to the corner of the road, where Ms. Ebanks would wait for him, get in the car, and then they would spend the night at Mr. Bush’s address in Logwoods, West Bay. 

Mr. Radcliffe said the two gunmen knew of this arrangement and the approximate time Mr. Bush would be going to pick up Ms. Ebanks. 

When the car drew up and Ms. Ebanks got in, two gunmen approached from behind, Mr. Radcliffe said. 

“The car tried to drive off, a shot was fired – at least one shot – the car lost control, ran into the wall and two gunmen then came to the driver’s side, right-hand drive window, and fired shotgun and handgun cartridges essentially into Robert Bush’s face and head, killing him,” Mr. Radcliffe summarized. 

He said Ms. Ebanks was a witness to all of that. He noted that she “doesn’t identify either of the gunmen at all,” but she did deal with a lot of background to the matter, which was of some importance to the Crown’s case. 

Borden is represented by Trevor Burke and Nicholas Hoffman. 

Tamasa is represented by John Ryder and Lucy Organ. 

Senior Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson is assisting Mr. Radcliffe. 

The trial was originally estimated to last three weeks, but is now expected to take less time. 

More than 100 jurors attended Grand Court on Monday, when it had been expected that a 12-member jury would be selected. However, attorneys asked for more time, and jurors were directed to return on Wednesday. The court was subsequently advised of both defendants’ desire to be tried by judge alone. Jurors were then advised through the media that they need not return until Monday, July 21, for another matter. 

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