Witness says defendant gave her slain man’s jewelry

The former lover of Leonard Antonio Ebanks told a court she wore jewelry she believed had been stolen from slain banker Frederic Bise to her child’s christening.

The woman claims Ebanks, who is on trial for murder, confessed to his role in the killing some three weeks after Mr. Bise’s badly beaten body was found in the burnt-out wreck of his car in West Bay in February 2008.

She said he had told her he had stolen property, including a phone and a silver chain with a cross, from the dead man’s house.

Despite his alleged confession, she said they had remained friends and she had tried to help him unlock the phone and had worn the chain with the cross to her child’s christening. The court later heard that Mr. Bise’s wife and landlady had said the jewelry did not belong to the victim.

The witness, who was challenged about several inconsistencies in her evidence, accepted that Ebanks had left her to go back to his wife the day before she first reported his alleged confession to police in April, 2008. But she denied that she was maliciously making up her testimony to get back at him.

She accepted, under cross examination, that she had given various different accounts to police and to the court about what Ebanks had told her.

In her initial testimony on Thursday, she told the court that Ebanks had turned up at her home on the morning of the murder, drinking a Heineken and smelling strongly of smoke.

A few days later, she said, Ebanks, who she admitted was a crack addict who used her for “sex and money,” moved into her home.

Shortly after that, she said, she had found a laptop pouch along with the jewelry, a bank card and a Motorola phone under some sheets in her closet. Ebanks later told her, according to her testimony, that the items belonged to the “white guy” who was killed in Mount Pleasant and that he and his cousin Chad Anglin had been involved in the killing. (Anglin has been convicted of murdering Mr. Bise.)

She said he told her he received a call from Anglin, saying he had a “mission to go on.” He had met him at a place known as “The Dykes” in West Bay and watched as his cousin took a cinder block and smashed it on the man’s head, she said. She later changed this account and said Ebanks had not been there when the blows were struck.

In her initial testimony, she said Ebanks had then destroyed the cinder block and the pair lifted the dead man into the trunk of his car and drove him back to his home in Mount Pleasant. Anglin set the car on fire while Ebanks stole items from the home, she claimed he told her.

They had then gone to Anglin’s grandmother’s house and “got rid” of their clothes, according to her initial recollection of his confession to her.

Challenged about further inconsistencies between her police statements and her account in court, she then said there were, in fact, three men involved in the killing – not two as she had said in her principal evidence and not four as she had said in an earlier statement.

She said her original police statement was accurate and that Ebanks had told her he had been with his “brethren” in a West Bay yard on the night of the murder when the friend had said he had an “errand” to run and the pair had left together on a bicycle to meet Anglin.

She acknowledged that he had not mentioned a phone call on the night and that he had said they burned only Anglin’s clothes following the killing – a discrepancy with her earlier testimony that the barrister drew attention to. She also acknowledged she had not mentioned that Ebanks had shown up at her home smelling of smoke on the morning of the murder until earlier this year. She accepted that her account of the time he had turned up at her house, did not tally with witness evidence on the timing of the fire.

Mr. Ebanks denies the murder accusation. The trial continues.