‘Drive, drive, drive!’ girlfriend told murder victim as killers ran towards his car
The girlfriend of murder victim Robert Mackford Bush described to a court on Monday how he was shot dead as she sat next to him in his car.
Mayra Ebanks gave evidence via video link from an undisclosed location on Monday morning about the night of Sept. 13, 2011, when the shooting occurred in West Bay, and events leading up to it.
Charged with his murder are Brian Emmanuel Borden, described by the crown as one of two gunmen who killed Mr. Bush, and David Joseph Tamasa, who allegedly provided the ammunition for the shooting.
Mr. Bush was shot after he drove to the junction of Birch Tree Hill Road and Captains Joe and Osbert Road in West Bay to pick up Ms. Ebanks, who was going to spend the night at his home in the Logwoods area of West Bay.
Lead prosecutor Andrew Radcliffe asked her about the day before – Monday, Sept. 12. She said she was her friend Tishara Webster’s yard, where neighbors sometimes hung out and listened to music. (Ms. Webster gave evidence on Friday.) Ms. Ebanks named Jordan Manderson as a young man in the neighborhood who told her, “These boys want to hurt Robert.” She understood him to mean the boys from Birch Tree Hill and the word he used was either hurt or kill.
She said he also told her that as long as he was around, it wouldn’t happen because they had to come to him “for their things.” She understood “things” to mean machines, guns or weapons.
Later on Monday night, Mr. Bush picked her up at Ms. Webster’s yard in his cousin’s car. When he got out of the car, he spoke with Mr. Manderson and, although Ms. Ebanks did not hear their conversation, she said it seemed friendly.
The next day, Tuesday, Mr. Manderson came to her house and asked if she would be going to Ms. Webster’s later that evening and she said she didn’t know.
While there, he received a phone call and she was close enough to hear the voice on the other end. She heard the voice say, “Get the things ready. We’re coming for them.” Jordan just said “Okay.”
Ms. Ebanks said the voice on the other end sounded like Brian Borden, whom she had known since around 2004-05. They did not become close until 2010; they then formed an occasional intimate relationship that ended in December 2010 or January 2011. After that, they remained friends, she said.
When Mr. Manderson left her house, he asked her to message him if she was going to Ms. Webster’s later.
Mr. Bush subsequently called her and told her to walk to where he would pick her up. She then sent a message to Mr. Manderson on his friend’s phone to say that she would not be home, she told the court.
She said she saw two figures walking along Birch Tree Hill Road. When she got to Mr. Bush’s car, she saw one of the figures was carrying a shotgun. As she opened the car door, she saw them start to run. She got in as fast as she could and yelled at Mr. Bush to “drive, drive, drive!”
She did not know if a shot hit him or the car, but he lost control and hit a wall. The men came to Mr. Bush’s side of the car and stood there for a couple of seconds before running off. She said one was wearing a camouflage jacket and the other was wearing a long-sleeved red top and camouflage pants. Both had shirts tied around their heads and she did not see their faces.
She started screaming and Ms. Webster ran over from her yard. Ms. Ebanks said she called 911 and police came. She was being taken to hospital because she had been hit by shotgun pellets, but before she was put in an ambulance, Mr. Bush’s baby-mother assaulted her and accused her of setting Mr. Bush up. “That was untrue,” she told the court.
Ms. Ebanks was to be questioned by defense attorneys in the afternoon, but Justice Alexander Henderson expressed concern about the quality of video link’s sound transmission.
The judge said he was not prepared to let matters proceed with this deficiency. Technicians were scheduled to work on the problem.