West Bay woman found guilty in “revenge” attack

| 10/08/2009

(CNS): Facing what was essentially a reversal of circumstances, 26-year-old Darla Ebanks was found guilty on Friday (7 August) of Unlawful Wounding with intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm. The jury’s verdict came following a week long trial in the Grand Court regarding the stabbing of 38 year old Deborah Ebanks in the Cracked Conch in September of last year. Eight years previously Deborah Ebanks had found herself on trial following an incident in which she had caused Darla Ebanks serious wounds to her face in what she said was a case of self defence — the same defence used on this occasion by Darla Ebanks. However, on that occasion Deborah Ebanks was acquitted.

In the case against Darla Ebanks the Crown alleged that she had deliberately stabbed Deborah Ebanks in the back at the Cracked Conch in a revenge attack – having waited eight long years to extract her own justice after Deborah’s acquittal in 2001. However, Darla told the court that this was not true and that she had defended herself against an attack from a woman she already had good reason to fear.

During the five day trial the jury had heard Deborah Ebanks’ version of events when she described seeing Darla at the Macabucca Bar at the Cracked Conch Restaurant in West Bay where she had gone for drinks with her husband.  Deborah related to the court that before she and her husband had intended to leave the restaurant she visited the bathroom, leaving her husband to pay for their drinks at the bar.

Deborah said that, having used the restroom, she washed her hands and went to use the hand dryer when she suddenly felt a blow to her back. She turned to see Darla Ebanks standing behind her with a knife. She described how a struggle ensued and how she had tried to wrestle the knife from Darla’s hands by gripping the blade. In the end, she said, she managed to get away from her attacker and fled back into the restaurant where she told her husband that she had been stabbed in the back by Darla. At that point, the emergency services were called and Deborah was rushed to hospital, where she was treated for a punctured lung, and Darla was arrested.

In her version of events Darla said it was Deborah who once again attacked her. She said that having used the bathroom she came out to see Deborah standing there at the sinks, and that she had hurled insults at her (Darla) and then punched her in the face. Darla insisted that during the fight that ensued Deborah headed for a knife, which was lying on the counter in the bathroom, but by luck Darla realised what she was doing and was able to get to the knife first. As the struggle continued, Darla described Deborah as charging at her head first and, as she did, Darla hit Deborah in the back with the knife which was in her hand.

The jury was not convinced by the defendant and found her guilty. During the trial the jury heard that the feud between the two women had begun when Darla Ebanks had allegedly taken up with the father of Deborah Ebanks’ children (Marlon Ebanks who was murdered in a shooting in West Bay in August 2007). During an incident at a house party Darla Ebanks, who was at the time a teenager, received a number of severe wounds to her face and arms, for which she had in excess of 50 stitches. Deborah Ebanks had admitted inflicting the injuries to Darla with a bunch of keys but she said it was in self defence as she believed Darla had thrown a bottle at her. However, unlike the result of this trial, in 2001 the jury had acquitted Deborah Ebanks.  Darla Ebanks, who is a mother, was remanded in custody until her sentencing later this month.

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  1. durrrr says:

    The whole jury system needs to be reviewed. It’s half the reason the island’s going the way it is… the jury pool is so small, they’ve got no choice but to let loose a bunch of retards in the jury box.


    Ok, we might not want jurors who’ve literally just landed in Cayman and have no feel for our values and culture, but once you’ve been here 2-3 years, why not?

    • Vulture says:

      "no feel for our values and culture" I have been here many years and the only culture I have come across is the mildew that keeps appearing in my wardrobe.  What understanding does one need of "values or culture" to determine facts in the context of a criminal trial? 

  2. Makam says:

    Oh dear, no Ex-pats to blame here….

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah dat’s right no expats to blame and you know why? Because Caymanians can face the music – not like expats who want to come here shoot up/burn people and try running back home dah next morning! BUNCH O’ COWARDS!

  3. Mindy says:

    What a mess! That’s westbayas for you.