Murder cases stalled with appeal result outstanding

| 02/09/2012

raziel.JPG(CNS): Two outstanding murder charges against a West Bay man have been stalled in the court system as the parties involved wait on the results of a Court of Appeal decision. Raziel Jeffers had an appeal against a murder and attempted murder conviction heard by the appeal court in July but the panel has not yet delivered its verdict. Local Attorney Richard Barton told the chief justice on Friday that two indictments against his client could not progress as no decision had yet been received from the higher court and the further charges against his client were dependent on the outcome of that appeal.

The 28-year-old man’s murder conviction of the fatal shooting of Marcus Ebanks and attempted murder of several other young men during a 2009 gang-related shooting in Bonaventure Lane in West Bay was based heavily on evidence given by his former girlfriend. The same woman is also the crown’s main witness in the allegations against Jeffers for the murder of Marcus Duran and Damion Ming in March 2010, also in West Bay.

However, during his July appeal Michael Wolkind QC, instructed by Barton, had produced telephone evidence before the appeal court that indicated the key witness had lied on the stand about the day of the murder.  As a result, a question mark hangs over the advancement of the charges against Jeffers if the higher court upholds the appeal over the Bonaventure shooting.

With more than a month having passed since the appeal case was heard, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie told both the crown and defence attorneys to write to the Court of Appeal registrar requesting some indication of when a judgment could be expected as the outstanding cases could not simply be allowed to be continually adjourned without any understanding of when the issues might be resolved, he said.

Following his instructions to the lawyers involved, the chief justice adjourned the cases for a further four weeks in the anticipation that by the next appearance there would be some indication on the state of the appeal.

Related article:

Appeal reveals key evidence

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