Defense raises another murder scenario

Verdict might come Friday afternoon

Defense counsel Trevor Burke summarized evidence in the murder trial of Brian Borden on Tuesday, seeing to raise sufficient doubt in the judge’s mind about whether Borden was the only candidate in the alleged murder of Robert Mackford Bush. 

Justice Alexander Henderson is hearing the matter without a jury, as the defendant elected. 

Mr. Bush was shot in his car near the junction of Birch Tree Hill Road and Captains Joe and Osbert Road on Sept. 13, 2011. Marlon Dillon, the Crown’s main witness, said last week that Borden confessed to him that he and Keith Montaque had “mashed up” Mr. Bush.  

Mr. Burke said evidence of other Crown witnesses also pointed to Jordan Manderson and David Ebanks as having opportunity, means and motive. If they had been brought to trial, there would have been a case for them to answer, he asserted. 

Mr. Bush’s girlfriend, Mayra Ebanks, had described Manderson as a young man whose father lived near where she was staying in the Birch Tree Hill area. She said Jordan visited her and she saw him frequently at a neighbor’s yard. Manderson had told her he wanted to date her, she told the court, but she told him that he was too young for her. Ms. Ebanks was 22 at the time; she thought Manderson was 18 to 20 and his friend David Ebanks was around 17 or 18. 

The Crown’s case was that there were hostilities between the young men of Logwoods and the young men of Birch Tree Hill. Mr. Bush lived in Logwoods, but recently had been driving to Birch Tree Hill most nights to pick up Ms. Ebanks. 

Ms. Ebanks had told the court that Manderson told her the Birch Tree Hill boys wanted Mr. Bush dead, but they would have to come through him because he was the armorer (dispenser of weapons). 

Manderson and David Ebanks were the only people besides Ms. Ebanks who knew when Mr. Bush would be picking her up that night. The shooting occurred between 11:15 and 11:20 p.m., but it was not until 10:54 p.m. that Ms. Ebanks texted Mr. Bush to say that her mother had come home and would stay with her baby. Before that time, it was just speculation that she would meet him. 

As Ms. Ebanks waited at the junction for Mr. Bush, she said, Manderson and David Ebanks walked past. She had texted David Ebanks to tell Manderson she was going on the road because Manderson had asked her to let him know if she would be going to a neighbor’s yard to hang out. 

Manderson and David Ebanks were wearing clothing similar to what Ms. Ebanks described the gunmen as wearing. Police investigating after the shooting found camouflage clothing secreted in the loft of an unoccupied house in the Cinder Lane area of Birch Tree Hill. Both Borden and another suspect, Keith Montaque, were excluded from the DNA profile obtained from it. 

A shotgun cartridge found in David Ebanks’s possession was compared to a cartridge found at the murder scene. A microscopic examination showed markings on both cartridges that indicated they had been fired from the same shotgun. 

These facts and others all raised a prima facie case against Manderson and David Ebanks, Mr. Burke summarized. He then addressed the evidence of Marlon Dillon, calling him “a witness absolutely incapable of belief.” 

He pointed out that Dillon is awaiting sentence for his roles in the robbery of Cayman National Bank and WestStar Television Centre in 2012, so he would want to ingratiate himself with the court. 

Commenting on the evidence of other Crown witnesses, he suggested they were lying, exaggerating or mistaken. 

Justice Henderson said he would review all of the evidence carefully and think about the matter for a week or so.  

Advised that the lead counsel for prosecution and defense planned to return to London within the next few days, the judge said he would adjourn until Friday at 2 p.m. unless he needed more time. 

Trial began on July 16 for Borden and David Joseph Tamasa, who was accused of providing ammunition to Borden for the shooting. On July 28, Justice Henderson discharged Tamasa, finding there was no case for him to answer. 

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