Not guilty verdict in murder of Special Olympics athlete

 Justice Charles Quin found that the Crown had not proven its case against Jose Sanchez for the murder of Solomon Webster in a West Bay yard on Sept. 7, 2014. Announcing his decision shortly after noon on Thursday, he said he was clear that under no circumstances could he be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Sanchez had fired the shot that killed the 24-year-old Special Olympics gold medalist.

He said there were too many possible and reasonable inferences as to what had happened when Sanchez was confronted by a third man, Shaquille Bush, and Mr. Webster joined in their struggle. Witnesses saw the struggle but nobody saw the shooting, which occurred around 8:30 p.m.

The men were fighting and a firearm appeared: Did Sanchez shoot Mr. Webster? Did Bush bring a gun to shoot Sanchez and it went off in the struggle? Did Mr. Webster bring a gun to the scene? Was it possible Mr. Webster shot himself?

If this were a jury trial, he would have to warn jurors not to speculate; as the trier of fact, he said, he could not speculate. With the case not proven, Sanchez was free to go.

Counsel afterwards explained that a “not guilty” verdict would be formally entered on the record.

Details in Friday’s Cayman Compass.