A West Bay man who shot and killed another man in the doorway of a busy restaurant was found guilty of murder on Monday.
Ian Rivers never denied that he killed Mark “Hubba” Seymour outside Super C Restaurant in January last year. But his legal team had sought to prove that he was suffering from “diminished responsibility” because of mental illness at the time of the killing, and was therefore guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The six-man, six-woman jury rejected that claim Monday, taking around three hours to return a verdict of guilty on the charge of murder.
Justice Frank Williams ordered a social inquiry report and a victim impact report and set a date of Oct. 26 for a sentencing hearing.
Under Cayman Islands law the sentence for murder is life in prison, with a tariff of 30 years, which can be increased or reduced depending on the circumstances of the crime.
During a two-week trial the court heard that Mr. Rivers had ridden up to the West Bay restaurant on his bicycle before shooting Mr. Seymour multiple times from close range. He fired further shots as he fled the scene and even fired on the police helicopter, according to one witness.
He later disappeared into his home, opposite the restaurant, where he spent some time with his family before giving himself up to police, who had surrounded the building.
The jury in the trial heard medical evidence from experts for both the defense and prosecution who testified to Mr. Rivers’s state of mind at the time of the murder.
Based on their testimony, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards told the jury in her summary that Mr. Rivers had been found to be aggressive, irritable, manipulative and impulsive.
“He has an antisocial personality disorder which did not substantially impair his mental responsibility for his act,” she said, concluding this personality disorder was not a disease of the mind.
The jury also heard evidence that Mr. Rivers had been drinking heavily and told police he had not slept for five days before the crime. He was depressed because he was unemployed and not able to provide for his family and was upset by people telling him that his wife had asked for money from Mr. Seymour, who was an ex-boyfriend.
Ms. Richards said these were problems faced by many other people and did not amount to a “license to kill.”
Crister Brady, representing Mr. Rivers, said in his closing argument that Mr. Rivers’s behavior leading up to the crime was abnormal. He said his client was depressed and had been using cocaine and ganja.
“No one knows when an acute stressor might push just enough to get a person who is psychotic over the edge,” he said.