Judge left to consider latest murder case

| 23/09/2011

(CNS): Leonard Antonio Ebanks was remanded in custody to Northward prison on Thursday lunchtime after his defence lawyer answered the crown’s case against him with a closing argument before Justice Charles Quin in the Grand Court. The judge who is trying the case alone now has to weigh the evidence against Ebanks who is charged with the murder of Tyrone Burrell (20), who was shot in the head, and killed in September last year at a Yard in Birch Tree Hill, West Bay. The shooting was believed to be the last gang related killing for almost twelve months before the sudden resurgence of gang violence in the district last week.

Justice Quin told the court before it was adjourned that depending on his own case load he would endeavour to deliver a verdict in the case before the end of next week.

Having called no witnesses on his own behalf, Ebanks’ attorney told the judge that there was considerable doubt in the crown’s case against his client. He pointed out that there were no witnesses to the crime and no forensic evidence against his client. Although the lawyer said his client was at the house in Birch Tree Hill on the night of the shooting, along with as many as twenty other people who came and went to the yard, by his own admission no one saw him with a gun on the night in question.

The crown’s case depends heavily on the evidence of Arlene White, who worked as a helper at the house in Birch Tree Hill. She said that she saw Ebanks run into the yard all dressed in black seconds before the shooting. At a later date she said that Ebanks had confessed to the killing of Burrell to her, as well as another serious crime. She also told the court that she had seen the defendant with a gun on many occasions and he had shown the weapon to her.

The crown’s case had also suggested that Ebanks had a motives as he had told people including, a police officer, that he was connected to the Birch Tree Hill gang and was an elder of the community. Ebanks reportedly believed that Burrell was responsible for shooting a house of gang member’s family and that he was a spy, carrying news from theBirch Tree Hill gang to the Logwoods gang.

Ebanks’ attorney however, rejected the claims of a motive and dismissed the witness stating that her evidence was “inconsistence, full of omissions and unreliable.” Following her own admission on the stand of visions, before Burrell was killed, the lawyer said she was a fantasist whose account could not be relied upon to base a conviction. The only appropriate verdict which the judge could return was one of not guilty, the defence counsel concluded.

Category: Crime

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