Arrests, no charges in year-old shootings
A trio of homicides on Grand Cayman that occurred within a one-month period during 2013 have so far stymied police investigators, despite multiple arrests being made in connection with at least two of the killings.
Last week, Royal Cayman Islands Police Chief Inspector Malcolm Kay asked members of the public to volunteer any information they could to assist investigators. “Recently, we have had a number of successful convictions in court for both murders and manslaughter which, in part, was down to the support and courage of witnesses who have come forward and given evidence in court,” Mr. Kay said.
Those recent convictions include a 20-year prison sentence given in August for Raziel Jeffers, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Marcos Duran in West Bay during 2010. Jeffers was already serving life in prison on an earlier murder conviction.
Another manslaughter guilty plea was received in April in connection with the stabbing death of Perry McLaughlin on Little Cayman last year, for which Elsy Barralga was given a six-year sentence.
In a third investigation, local police wrapped up a “cold case” murder from 2008 with the conviction of Chad Anglin for the killing of Swiss banker Frederic Bise in West Bay.
The three homicide cases in 2013 have not fared so well for police investigators.
Irvin Garlon Bush, 52, was shot to death outside his West Bay home late on Sunday Sept. 15, 2013.
“Although a number of arrests were made in connection to this incident, at present, no charges have been laid,” a statement issued by RCIPS Superintendent Adrian Seales read. Police officers revisited the scene of the crime last month, conducting house-to-house inquiries seeking to uncover new information.
On Oct. 2, 2013 Earl Hart, 22, was shot at an apartment on Marina Drive in Prospect. Arrests were again made in the killing, but both suspects were subsequently released from police bail conditions and no charges were filed.
According to court records, Earl Hart testified in the murder trial of Chakane “C.J.” Scott after Scott was accused in the shooting death of Asher McGaw in East End in September 2011. Scott was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012.
Police also conducted inquiries in the Marina Drive area where Mr. Hart was killed on Friday – a year to the day since his shooting death.
About week after Mr. Hart’s shooting, Anthony Connor, 32, was shot in the vicinity of the Mango Tree Bar and Restaurant in George Town. Initial reports indicated that the victim was speaking with another man outside the bar when he was shot. Police said a single bullet killed Mr. Connor.
“Although this incident occurred close to a very busy bar and intersection, very few witnesses came forward and no arrests were made in connection to his murder,” the statement from Mr. Seales read.
This year, the RCIPS has seen fewer homicides in the Cayman Islands and significant evidence has led to the closure or criminal charges in both cases.
Charges have been filed against both a murder suspect and a man police said was an “accessory” to the killing of 24-year-old Daniel Webster in West Bay in early September.
The February killing of Nichelle Anna-Kay Thomas, 21, in a remote area of Bodden Town was determined to be a murder-suicide involving her former boyfriend Devon Campbell. Police have said they are “not looking for anyone else” in connection with Ms. Thomas’s death.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service asks anyone with information about these killings, regardless how small or insignificant they believe it is, to contact any of the local police stations, the RCIPS Major Incident Room at the George Town Police Station at 925-7240 or Cayman Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477.