15 yrs jail for AEC alumnus

| 06/10/2011

(CNS): A former student from the now notorious Alternative Education Centre has been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of an attempted contract killing. Carlney Campbell was only 18 when he tried to kill José Morales in an elevator at the Treasure Island Resort on West Bay Road disguised as a police officer. The teenage Campbell succeeded in stabbing Morales, who the prosecution said was the wrong man, in the head but his victim who was trained in martial arts survived to tell the tale. In his ruling on Friday Justice Alex Henderson described Campbell’s troubled past and said he believed there was a strong possibility that he would re-offend as he handed down the decade and a half long prison term.

During the sentencing hearing the judge described how Campbell had tried to trick Morales by dressing up in blue police overalls, which aggravated the crime, but his young age at the time of the offence was a mitigating factor. Taking into consideration the circumstances of the attempted murder and the sentencing guidelines in relation to this type of offence, as well as local precedent of his own previous decisions that remain unchallenged by the Court of Appeal, Justice Henderson handed down the sentence to Campbell, who is now 20 years old, with time served to be taken into consideration.

During the trial Campbell had presented a defence of mistaken identity but it appears that the real mistake in identity was that of the victim, since Morales swore under oath that he had no idea why he was attacked and the crown presumed it was a case of mistaken identity. The police were unable to ascertain who the real intended victim had been.

On 26 May 2009 at around 5pm Morales was waiting for the elevator at Treasure Island resort where he lived. What he believed was a police officer in blue overalls walked past him as the elevator arrived and Morales got in the lift. After closing, the door re-opened and the police officer, who was in fact Campbell, walked in. Morales tried to walk out but Campbell told him that he should get back in and, thinking he was a real police officer, the victim asked if there was a problem. Campbell forced Morales to turn around and face the wall as the elevator door closed Campbelltried to tie Morales' hands behind his back with plastic string and produced a knife which he put in to his back.

As Morales was young, physically fit and trained in martial arts he was able to turn suddenly and grab the knife by the blade, hit Campbell with his right elbow and knock him off balance. As they struggled Morales overpowered Campbell and held the knife to his throat, which is when Campbell told him, "I'm sorry, man, somebody paid me to do it."

Morales asked who paid him but got no answer and instead Campbell bit him on the arm forcing him to release his grip on the knife, at which point Campbell stabbed Morales in the head. Morales threw some punches but sustained a further stab wound near his ear. Eventually, Campbell dropped the knife and fled before Morales called 911 for help.

The jury found Campbell guilty of the crime and that he had intended to kill Morales and had been paid to do it.

Campbell, who is now 20 years of age but was only 18 at the time of the crime, is Caymanian and comes from a troubled background. A social enquiry report revealed that he suffered abuse at the hands of his father as ayoung child, with whom he lived in the US for some time before he returned to Cayman. He was expelled from John Gray and sent to the Alternative Education programme and was already in trouble with the law by the time he was 15 and has a previous conviction for burglary.

As Justice Henderson arrived at his sentence, he pointed out that this case fell into the category of a planned attempt on the victim, which he described as “rather elaborate”, and while not the most serious of attempted murders, it was aggravated by Campbell’s attempt to impersonate a police officer to put his victim off guard as he attacked him while being paid to do so.

The judge also commended the police in this particular case, pointing out that there had been a lot of criticism expressed in the press recently regarding investigations and evidence gathering. “In this case the police did an admirable job of gathering the evidence and putting the case together. I think it is appropriate for the court to recognise that,” the judge added.

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Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     A.EC. has become the object of scorn and derision by CNS. After reading this piece I cannot fathom what AEC did wrong to be branded "notorious".  A number of readers have picked up on this obvious slander and have made their disgust known.  These comments only reinforce the belief among some that these youths have no power to make positive choices, to distinguish between right and wrong and listen and follow through on good advice.

    AEC did a great job with those students who attended, took advice and used the opportunities afforded them.  Just ask some of the many success stories; sadly, they do not make the news.  Unfortunately, like any other regular school AEC could not deal effectively with the criminal elements, the mentally challenged and those with a combination of both plus abusive parenting.  Please remember these students were first identified as unfit for regular classes in our High Schools and only sent to AEC when all intervention failed:  small classes,work experience, one on one instruction, educational counseling, drug counseling, case conferences, social workers intervention, free meals, medication and  "state care" are only some of the services that were afforded these students.

    Since attendance at AEC could not be enforced , there was no way to ensure students attended excepting for students with a court order and those who were in care (Bonaventure & Girls Home)  So AEC could only work successfully with the willing; as many of these so called AEC students failed to attend or attended for a short time and then disappeared. 

    Now, is AEC "notorious" ?  I don't think so, and it never was.  Thanks to all the staff who had to work at the most difficult job in the Cayman Islands; as one writer said "some teachers were sent there as punishment".  If you don't believe this talk to some teachers today in any school and find out first hand what they are up against.

    I wish all the best for the proposed new therapeutic centre and wish AEC had the funding and facilities to do similar programmes.



  2. Anonymous says:

    My question is were they able to determine who contracted this young man to kill?? If he refused to identify that person/those persons – then they should have given him another 15 years. He is not the sole party responsible for this. Last time I checked hiring a hit man is also against the law…

  3. Anonymous says:

    AEC Teachers you have to be complimented and congratulated for your work with students and for your many achievements and success with them. Not everyone could do the job you did! The former Principal reminded you on many ocassions that every Teacher was a Hero in the school. Do not be discouraged by the remarks, your reward is great in Heaven. Take comfort in knowing that there are bahavioral problems not only in Govt. schools, but in all schools.  Anyschool denying this does not have a discipline policy in place.

  4. simpleton says:

    Stop the bashing of AEC……this institution worked for many students who spent most of their time at John Gray….Maybe CNS need to find some success stories from the "notorious"AEC …they are worth publishing …lets hear what the students think…

  5. The Math... says:

    15 years – 2 years already locked up is less time to serve = 13 years.  Add to that time knocked off for good behaviour (if any)… wonder when he'll really get out?

    • Anonymous says:

      Based on the revolving door used by our most violent thugs my guess is next Tuesday.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why didn’t the deadline say “son effed up by fathers abuse gets 15 years”. He’s a product of his family. AEC only delayed inevitable.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is rather pitiful that such remarks have to be passed on the individual who have failed society. While at the same time I fully understand each and everyone's remark. And really how long can we last with this type of behavour???

    Pease read me clearly, the trouble did not start at the birth of these now current want to be criminals- it started from within their fathers' and  mother's own bringing up – when the parents who are now  grand parents and great partents of these children left the want-to-be criminals  mothers and fathers to strugglefor themsselves – these children is a result of bad seed planted 30-40-50 years ago – it is only by the grace of God that their children of today succeed – only a small percentage.  Therefore, all these crimes are doing is fulfilling  what were were planted long before they were born and they have now brought it to fruitation. The bible never lied when it mentioned "down to the third and fourth generation" the majority of these children are seed of the sinful nature of grand parents and great grand parents.

    Please forgive me, but if Social Services Really want to help these children – they must   go beyond the child and investigate really how their parents were raised by some grand parents and great grand  parents, then they may have a chance to be successful in their efforts toward helping that trouble child.  Investigate  down to the third and fourth generation and we need go not further.

    • YOU are blaming says:

      You have identified the problem!  Bravo!!!!  Gold stars for you!

      Now that you have finished your rant, what is your solution? Investigate and then…..

      • Anonymous says:

        If  when conducting Social inquiries, if the inquiries were to investigate beyond the criminals they  would know where and what nature these  children are made up from and they would be better able  to assist them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Enough is enough about AEC being the BLAME Machine for all our social ills and the recent murders.  Let us now look at the students who attended AEC and turned their lives around. Two and a half years ago a team of staff, mentors and tutors did a great job with many of the students, I was one of them. Today many of these students are holding down good jobs for the past 2 years +. How many times did the Minister  visit these students? How many students were sent to AEC by mistake? What opportunities were offered to these students to have some of the technical subjects they had an interest in? Team work works try it!


    The instituition itself is not at fault, this is a societal problem and pointing fingers is not the way to solve it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The RCIP need to take a serious look at their interrogative methods.
    Either they have none or what they do have is NOT working.
    There’s no way a real police that is trained in handling these kind of killers would let this punk be charged, prosecuted and imprisoned without finding out who hired him?

    So the real criminal the one who put up the money is out there aiming at killing other people and we the people do not know who that person is?
    Are you kidding?
    Better you had do a plea bargaining sentence just to get the name of the person who hired him for murder. You would have caught two!
    not given just one of them a very light sentence as this.


    Its time to INTERROGATE THESE KILLERS and get information out of them some names out of them.!
    This is a joke!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great. And at the age of 35 (but probably earlier) he will be turned loose on society again. Then what???

    • Anonymous says:

      The way the parole system works he will  be out by 26 or 27 or even sooner and he will be back on the same payroll that got him into prison and he will be smart enough to leave no witnesses on his next assignment. We need to change things so that dangerous offenders including contract killers serve much longer and much less comfortable sentences. 50 years with no parole except  for maybe a 10 year discount for giving up the guy who put out the hit would be about right.

  11. Anonymous says:

    OMG seriously does these judges have a  dice or something that they use to decide what sentence these criminals get seriously. Some one who kills someone gets less time in prison than someone who attempts to kill someone.

  12. Anonymous says:

    So AEC is "notorious"?? It was the home form many who were kicked out of regular school and had no where to go. Teachers were forced to work with a curriculum that did not  work and with students who were left at the gate in the mornings without breakfast. Do you wonder why they were angry? Teachers treated these students from their own pockets. One parent was so frustrated she asked the school to adopt her child, she could not cope.

    These crimes did not take place while at AEC and many students only attended for a short time, so why not blame the school where the student spent most of their time? Why AEC?

    It is time for someone to speak up for the real reason for closing AEC.

    Is it because Health Authorities  lease had expired on the building and the school had to relocate to smaller and not too good a location? or is it because Govt. was cutting cost  and AEC was not catering to the "elite" so this was the easy way to go?

  13. Anonymous says:

    15 years is too little but unfortunately we do not have any minimum sentences in our laws. Setting minimum sentences is something only the politicians can do but the politicians we elected in 2009 have not bothered to do it. If we want tougher sentences we will have to elect different politicians.

  14. MER says:

    15 years for attempted murder but 7 years to the guy that stamped that dude's head into a pulp in Bodden Town??? Case precedence review anyone?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The law needs to be changed if we want make sure that there are more severe penalties for these thugs. Only the politicians can do this but they don't seem to think that this is a priority.

  16. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding!  Fifteen years for a contract killing that only failed because the victim was fit enough to fight back.  I wonder what the punk would have gotten had the knife hit a main artery and this man had died. Disgusting! Pity the victim wasn't able to inflict some injuries of his own and teach the little bastard a real lesson.  Did the police manage to "break" this idiot down and at least find out who paid him to kill? 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Another light sentence. In the US this gets life.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Is he classified as a high level criminal?  Aren't all murders and attempted murderers sent off to England in a high level facility?  Please dont tell me this individual and the like are at the Northward Hotel?

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would hate to see a 'serious' attempted murder

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the victim would have to be dead to qualify for a "serious attempted murder"

  20. Give up the buyer says:

    He should have been given 50 years reduced to 15 if he gave up the name of the person who paid him to do the hit. That person is still walking around… Talk or spend the rest of your young life in jail, thats how is should work….


    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely right but we need to elect some politicians who are not soft on crime if we want this kind of common sense to be applied.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If Campell was not from here why was he allowed to remain here when it became obvious he was not a positive addition to the community? is deportation an option after his sentence? was it asked for? did the crown or police even consider it? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read the article? He is Caymanian.

    • LIBA ARCHIE says:

      10.06.2011- 04:15

      Where does it say, that he not from here?



    • Anonymous says:

      Try reading the article again.  It says that he was Caymanian, had spent some time in the US with his father after which he RETURNED to Cayman.  He also attended John Gray, which is only available to Caymanians.  One of ours I think. 

  22. insane says:

    Only 15 years???????? Come on should be more than that…

  23. Anonymous says:

    why is it "now notorious AEC"??

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone should be held accountable for this "AEC" mess…six years and no one had any idea things weren't going well??????? Come on, this is criminal!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please accept all the usual praises etc for teachers BUT yes AEC is a mess and maybe if we check the teachers who were 'placed' there another trend might emerge. It's time we link parental neglect and the additional abusive practice by some teachers who don't care enough to discipline and manage classrooms with kindness and understanding.

        Therefore the kids with challenges are further discarded, ignored and not giving any hope.

        When I think of young adults that made the 'wrong choices' and were so brilliant from primary school, it is sad that they were not challenged to advance themselves.


        Point being, many of these kids have potential and not just as 'tradesmen', and when they leave dysfunctional homes and are placed in our schools where they are supposed to be in a system of professionals, it's sad that many if not majority of these professionals advocate abusive (yes, shouting, derogatory remarks etc) practices that tear them down further.

        Since so many of these young men who died or charged for murder are from West Bay, I dare some of the parents, reporters, political parties' members do some research. How many of these boys attended John A Cumber Primary School? What were their experiences with the teachers and staff? Were the teachers generally kind and motivating? How many were 'abused emotionally' by teachers? we could even go a step further and look at the possibility of negative reports made against the same teachers year after year. It is not fair that kids should suffer year after year when the majority of teachers are caring, supportive and good disciplinarians. 

        It is time principals and education departments also 'get rid of' not just transfer these teachers to AEC etc, if they have demonstrated they are using practices that are abusive and ultimately against the basic human rights of these children.

        I am so happy to hear Mr Rolston Anglin has taken the AEC out and re-instated the old system of keeping students at-risk on the school compounds and hopefully the teachers placed to monitor and teach these students are up to the challenge as well.

        • Anonymous says:

          Obviously you are not a Teacher or a parent  of AEC or you would know that it isderogatory TO REFER TO STUDENTS AS KIDS AS THEIR PARENTS ARE NOT GOATS.

    • notagain:::8 says:

      Why is AEC now notorious. It is a disgrace for one reason. The education system here needs to be revamped.  AEC needs to have more strenous laws as those children I see there controls the teachers with their rude attitudes.  

      Why do they allow children to graduate at 16 years of age and not 18. These children are not even ready at 16, no one will hire them, they cant get insureance, yet the education department turn them loose on the streets with nothing to do, no where to go for extra crricular activities so what do we expect.

      We are building a nation of thugs and hate mongerers. The younger generation are angy yes, but its a problem that the government and society needs to take on.


      Why cant our young men drive these delivery trucks, answer phones as receptionist etc, why hire a work permit holder to do these things. Caymanian young people you cant hang your hat too high, you must  accomplish the promotion before you can demand a promotion AND you Must have patience.


      • Anonymous says:

        You say why can't the young men drive the trucks and be the receptionist.  Let me explain.  There is something more that an individual has besides a piece of paper and that is behaviour.  There are many jobs that require no skill.  These jobs do not require further education past high school but it requires something 'these young men' don't have.  The basic requirement is behaviour. 

        Having a positive attitude toward work.  Having good work ethic.  Having ambition.  Having the behavioural traits that are desireable are what employers are looking for.  When someone wants something they should work for it and have that idea instilled in their head that they should work for it.  Not the idea that no matter what they do they will get that something.

        A business will hire ANYONE that can accomplish the desired output.  This does not discriminate Caymanian vs. Expat.  This does discriminate against someone who is not willing to do what is required of the job.  It also discriminates against someone who does not have the basic skills aka behaviour. 

        Set two individuals on paper with similar qualifications and experience.  Then allow these two individuals the opportunity to be interviewed.  Who gets the job? The one with the behaviour that fits what the employer needs.  Bottom line.  End of argument.

        The arguments that are being presented is why doesn't the employer work around me.  That is an absolute nonsense argument.  These people need to realise that a business is there to make money and that business needs the best fit person for the job.  As a future employee, you should set yourself that employers should want what you have to offer.  This includes working for free to gain skills.  Everyone must start somewhere. 

  24. Anon E Mouse says:

    Has Henderson lost his mind?

    A Killer for hire.

    PAID to commit a murder (failed ONLY because of the victim's resilience)

    Pre-meditated and planned in detail – Police uniform?

    Stalked the intended victim.

    Used a knife to inflict potentially fatal wounds to the victims' neck AFTER binding his hands?

    The little punk should get the electric chair.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps capital punishment should be reintroduced for very serious crimes and where there can be shown to be an overwhelming propensity for criminal recidivism.  As Samuel Johnson once wrote, "nothing focuses the mind like a hanging".

  25. Just Great says:

    This is good justice handed down by the courts, and congragulations to the police officers for now taking good evidence that will hold their case together.   The Justice system is now making the Islands see that the Bench is not standing for any nonsence from these twerps.

    Now what the Island want is for the Governor, The Premier and all of the LA Ministers, and Judges to have a meeting.  WE DO NOT WANT THESE CRIMINALS SPENDING THEIR TIME IN NORTHWARD.  SEMD THEM TO SOME PLACE ELSE TO DO THEIR TIME.  England Cuba or San quinten, Dont wait for something to happen in Northward, and the Island will say I TOLD YOU  SO.

    • Common Sense says:

      I agree and think a local or regional prison facility should be placed on Cayman Brac. This would boost Caymanian employment and bring in a new revenue stream while at the same time deterring local crime.

      Look at The Isle of Wight, in England.  Most people know if from being a lovely tourist destination.  They go there to visit Carisbrooke Castle and Victorian history, but there is also a booming prison business: 34,000,000 GBP. see link:   http://www.insidetime.org/info-regimes2.asp?nameofprison=HMP_ISLE_OF_WIGHT_-_CAMP_HILL

      I know some people think Northward is too cushy and does not seem to be a deterant for our repeat criminals.  Maybe this is becasue of the close proximity to family, friends, and easy communication, all on a small island.  This is not the community's fault that our geography keeps our prisonsers close, but distance *(and that of water) may "bridge the gap" to making prison a place that one does NOT desire to go to.  

      Of course, we would have to honor human rights and provide access for visiting families.  Sure, let's even offer a weekly discounted airfares for families wanting to  visit prisoners.  It IS access.  Heck, if you go to prison in the USA, England, or Canada, you are not guaranteed you will be locked up close to home.  You could be in another state thousands fo miles away. In these countries, families have to use a lot of petrol, buy train tickets, and airline tickets to visit prisoners.  So any arguement that distance is unfair is untrue.

      Do you think our local street pirates, gang members, and thugs might think twice if they knew that their time would be served breaking big rocks into small rocks 80 nautical miles away?

      Here is a new income generator for the Hurricane Hilton? and can we convert the old Divi Tiara?

      Brackers…don't diss this.  Go look at the lovely Isle of Wight, the tourists love this place and 99% of them have no idea that the island's economy is assisited by prison revenue.

  26. Anonymous says:

    CNS, I think it is a bit unfair that you are describing the Alternative Education Centre as "notorious" as if it is responsible for what these young men have become. Clearly they had very troubled lives outside of that Centre and there does not appear to be any evidence to suggest that the Centre caused their criminality.  

  27. Chris says:

    Rolston's attempt to blame the AEC for the spike in crime in these islands is laughable.

    None of these children turned "bad" at AEC.

    Being "bad" is a prerequisite to gain entry into AEC.

    No normal student is allowed to attend AEC, so it follows that the statistics will always show that most of our young offenders would have attended AEC.

    Warehousing them, babysitting them, force feeding them academics and not offering any real technical and vocational programs then sending them home to failing parent(s) is the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you 100%. Removing these trrouble kids from the AEC, will only be moving a problem from one place to another. At least at the AEC they did not continue with their disruptive behaviour and they received some much needed individula attention.

    • yea says:

      Yea but it doesnt help when they are left unsupervised to do as they please, do no school work, and hang out and smoke weed under the trees all day with the other wankstas. AEC was supposed to try to sortthese hoods out not give them a place to socialize. I wonder how many crimes were planned at AEC.


  28. Anonymous says:

    Well done RCIPS. Thank you to the jury members for doing a difficult job with integrity. Thank you also to Judge Hendersion and CNS for pointing out this positive result.

    • MER says:

      The police only caught him because the victim lived to tell the tale! If that guy had died and there was no one to positive ID him it would be another unsolved murder!

    • Shout Out says:

      I'd also like to thank my manager for making this possible

      My parents for believing in me

      My baby mother for not getting me locked up for child support

      WTH enough with the credits………….

  29. Anonymous says:

    Sorry – struggling to grasp the concept of a "less serious attempted murder"….I didn't realise that there was a grading policy for when you stab someone in the head to try to kill them.

    15 years is too light.

  30. Anonymous says:

    So between the time he did the crime when he was 18 and now where has he been, in jail?

    • where else says:

      Where else would you suggest he be kept? your house?


    • Anonymous says:

      Read the Article! He was given 15yrs with time spent taken into consideration (i.e. the 2yrs since he was caught to his guilty verdict spent in HMP Northward).

      13yrs to go and he is back on the streets, unless he behaves himself ofcourse….