Brothers guilty of murder

Judge finds eyewitnesses to be accurate, reliable and truthful

Justin Ramoon during a court visit to the scene of Jason Powery’s murder outside the Globe Bar, in April. He and his brother found guilty of murder Thursday.

Osbourne Wilfred Douglas, 29, and Justin D’Angelo Ramoon, 24, were found guilty of murdering Jason Charles Powery in George Town on the night of July 1, 2015.

Osbourne Douglas during a court visit to the scene of Jason Powery’s murder outside the Globe Bar, in April. He and his brother were found guilty of murder Thursday.
Osbourne Douglas during a court visit to the scene of Jason Powery’s murder outside the Globe Bar, in April.

Mr. Powery was shot in the head at close range near the Globe Bar.

The defendants, who are brothers, will have to wait until July 14 to find out what minimum term of imprisonment they will have to serve before they can apply for release. The penalty for murder is currently life imprisonment, but a new law requires a specific term to be imposed.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards pointed out that the minimum term for murder is 30 years, but that can be increased or decreased by the sentencing judge, Justice Charles Quin. She therefore agreed with defense attorneys who asked for an adjournment before sentencing so that lead counsel could make submissions on behalf of Douglas and Ramoon.

Justice Quin delivered the verdicts just after 1:10 p.m. Thursday after reviewing the evidence and explaining his analysis of it.

He said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ramoon shot Mr. Powery, 20, at close range, intending to kill him, while Douglas handed him the firearm beforehand and then drove a car from the scene and waited for Ramoon to join him and leave the area.

The shooting occurred in the vicinity of the Globe Bar on Martin Drive, off Shedden Road, shortly after 10:40 p.m.

The defendants had chosen trial by judge alone. Proceedings took place last month and included a site visit.

The judge said he found that eye witnesses Jerome Hurlston and Justin Ebanks were reliable, accurate and truthful. Although their evidence contained inconsistencies and weaknesses, such as differences in distances, these were not significant, he said.

Mr. Hurlston had said he saw Ramoon shoot Mr. Powery. Mr. Ebanks said he saw Douglas hand the gun to Ramoon.

Justice Quin noted that both Mr. Hurlston and Mr. Ebanks said the weapon looked like a 9-millimeter gun. Only one shot was fired and only one spent cartridge was found at the scene: it was a 9 millimeter.

Defense attorneys argued that the witnesses were either lying or mistaken. They pointed out that there was no forensic evidence to link either defendant with a gun and there was no evidence of motive. They noted that the defendants lived near the site of the shooting and socialized in the area, so there was nothing suspicious about them being seen on CCTV in the vicinity.

Neither defendant gave evidence. Justice Quin said that was their right, since the Crown had to prove their guilt and they did not have to prove their innocence.

Having reviewed the evidence and the submissions, the judge considered that the only explanation for the defendants not answering was that they had no answers which could stand up to cross-examination. There was no evidence from them to explain or contradict the evidence presented by the Crown.

CCTV evidence did not show the shooting, but it did provide strong support for the evidence of the two eyewitnesses, the judge said.

A second charge on the indictment was possession of an unlicensed firearm, and both defendants were found guilty. After the verdicts, there was no mention of appealing the convictions. Procedure requires that sentence be passed before notice of appeal can be given.