Osbourne Wilfred Douglas was sentenced to 34 years’ imprisonment and his brother, Justin D’Angelo Ramoon, was sentenced to 35 years for the execution-style murder of Jason Charles Powery, 20, in 2015.
Justice Charles Quin passed sentence Monday morning after hearing submissions in October under the new Conditional Release Law, which sets a “life” sentence for murder at 30 years unless there are exceptional extenuating or aggravating features. The sentence is the time a person must serve before being eligible for release on license.
The judge found both men guilty in May after they had elected trial by judge alone. In addition to murder, they had been charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm.
On Monday, the judge said there were no extenuating features that would lower the sentence from 30 years. However, there were several aggravating features, as previously pointed out by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards.
Justice Quin found that each of the men had a distinct role before, during and after the shooting, which occurred in the vicinity of the Globe Bar off Shedden Road on the night of July 1, 2015.
The evidence showed that Douglas and Ramoon spent the evening moving around in each other’s company in the area. Ramoon parked his car on Martin Drive, near the Globe. Douglas spent some time clearing young people away from where the shooting took place. He then handed Ramoon a gun and walked to the car. Ramoon walked up to Mr. Powery and shot him in the head at point-blank range. “The victim was just standing there, drinking a beer,” the judge noted.
After shooting Mr. Powery, Ramoon then tried to shoot a friend of the victim’s, only to be disturbed by a third party; the gun clicked and failed to operate and the friend’s life was saved.
Meanwhile, Douglas had driven the car from the scene and waited for Ramoon on Mary Street nearby.
These facts showed there was a very significant degree of planning and premeditation, Justice Quin said.
“It was a public execution of a most evil nature,” he said, calling the murder “chillingly clinical.”
He continued, “There has been a very serious escalation of gun crime over the past seven years. The public must help police in their difficult task of finding out who is bringing in guns illegally and who is harboring illegal guns in the Cayman Islands. Over the past years, too many young Caymanians have lost their lives because of illegal guns.
“Furthermore, too many small business owners have been the target of terrifying attacks from armed robbers with illegal guns.”
Justice Quin explained that under the new Conditional Release Law, his sentence had to take into account the requirements for punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation. The aggravating circumstances of Mr. Powery’s murder and the urgent need for deterrence raised the sentence from 30 years to 34 years for Douglas. In Ramoon’s case, there was an upward adjustment to 35 years because of a conviction for possession of an imitation firearm in 2010.
Justice Quin added that the firearm used in the murder had never been recovered. He urged anyone who knew anything about it to share information with the police.
Ms. Richards then advised that the convicted men had been in custody 522 days since their arrest. The judge said the time served in custody would be taken into consideration.