Coach speaks for Jeffers

| 01/02/2012

Andy-Myles-Coach (244x300).jpg(CNS): Andy Myles, Cayman’s well known cricket coach, told the court Tuesday that the Raziel Jeffers he knew was a “quiet and humble” young man who had played football and cricket and had never shown any signs of violence. Called by the defence as a witness in the murder case against the 28-year-old West Bay man, Myles, who works in the sports ministry, said he had known Jeffers since he was a small child and had coached him in football and cricket. He told the court that Jeffers had played on the national cricket team and toured in Jamaica, and had even cried when the Cayman team lost.

Myles spoke of how Jeffers had worked hard as a caddy at a hotel among other jobs and how he would never have expected Jeffers to be in the position he was, facing a murder charge. “He never showed any signs of violence or anger. He was always humble and quiet,” the coach said as he took the witness stand. He added, however, that he had not spoken to Jeffers since around 2005.

The coach was one of four witnesses called by Jeffers, who at the close of the crown’s case against him for the killing of Marcus Ebanks and attempted murder of four others, elected not to take the stand to answer the charges in connection with the shooting at Bonaventure Lane in 2009.

His leading counsel, Peter Champagnie, called three other witnesses, including a nurse from the trauma unit who had taken care of gunshot victim Adryan Powell, who spoke about his condition, and the paramedic who had attended to the teenage boy in the ambulance. The medic told the court he had asked Adryan, who was awake and alert on the journey to the George Town hospital, what had happened and who shot him but the boy had said he didn’t know.

The defence also called the wife of one of Jeffers' close friends to the stand, who had reportedly been present when, according to one of the crown’s witnesses, the defendant had been armed with a gun.

Chantelle Forbes Borden denied ever seeing a weapon on Jeffers when she went to braid his hair. She said she had been persuaded by Megan Martinez, who was at the time Jeffers' girlfriend, to go to his mother’s home in West Bay to do his hair and she had not seen any guns when she was there. This was in contrast to evidence given by the crown’s witness, Martinez, who had told the court that on that occasion Jeffers was carrying a hand gun and had shown it to the girls.

Under cross examination the young witness admitted that her husband, Clebe Borden, was a close friend of Jeffers but she said she could not speak for him when she was asked if he would want to do everything he could to help his friend.

Naming various members of what the prosecution claimed was the Birch Tree Hill gang and close associates of Jeffers among the friends of the couple, the crown counsel’s QC, Andrew Radcliffe, suggested that she had been told to come to court and tell a lie about not seeing the gun. However, she denied the accusation and stated she was there because she had decided to come.

“I am not lying. I did not see him with any gun,” she stated emphatically to the court.
With the last of the defence witnesses, the trial is expected to be completed Wednesday after the two lawyers have presented their closing arguments to Justice Charles Quin, who is presiding over the case alone. 

Jeffers faces six counts on the indictment, including the murder of 20-year-old Marcus Ebanks; the attempted murder of Adryan Powell, who survived the shooting but is now confined to a wheelchair after one of the multiple bullets he received severed his spinal column; Rod Evans, who eventually recovered from some four gunshot wounds; and Joe Bush and Jose Sanchez, who both escaped unscathed when the two masked gunmen opened fire. Jeffers also faces one count of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

He has denied the charges against him and says he was not one of the gunmen and was not at the scene of the crime on 8 July 2009 at around 7:45 when the gunmen opened fire on the young men sitting in the West Bay yard.

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