Judge throws out murder case

| 04/06/2015 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Jose Sanchez arrives at the scene for a court visit with prison guards and lead detective on the Webster murder Dennis Walkington

(CNS): Jose “Pito” Sanchez walked away from court a free man on Thursday after Justice Charles Quin threw out the case against him for the murder of Solomon “Solly” Webster in September last year. The judge said it would have been impossible for him to find beyond reasonable doubt that Sanchez was the killer because there were at least four possible scenarios that could have led to the Special Olympian being shot.

Responding to a second submission by the defense to throw out the case because of a lack of evidence against Sanchez (27), the judge agreed that there was insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict.

Outlining the various scenarios in which Webster could have been shot, he said Sanchez could have brought the gun. However, he said, it was reasonable to think that Shaquille Bush brought it in order to shoot Sanchez and during the fight he lost control of the weapon, especially since Bush was seen fleeing the premises as soon as Webster was shot.

Justice Quinn said that, alternatively, Webster could have brought the gun in order to help Bush, as witnesses said they heard Bush say, “Solly take it out!”

In a fourth scenario, the judge said that while Sanchez, Bush and Webster were in a scuffle, it is possible that Webster shot himself accidently.

In light of these four inferences, the judge stressed there was “no justifiable reason to convict” Sanchez. Justice Quinn added that not only was there insufficient evidence to say Sanchez had brought the firearm to the scene, there was in fact evidence suggesting he had not.  The judge even raised concerns that the weapon recovered from the scene may not have been the one used to shoot Webster. During legal arguments in this case the court had heard that Bush was also involved with firearms.

As a result of the serious question marks surrounding the crown’s case, the judge granted the defense application and stopped the trial.

With no other court matter outstanding, Sanchez, who could barely contain his delight as he stood in the dock when the judge read his ruling, was free to go after some eight months on remand at HMP Northward.

However, before releasing Sanchez the judge said, “It is tragic that a young man who represented Cayman in the Special Olympics should have his life ended in such a manner. I give my condolences to his family members.” He added that if guns were removed from the island, “dreadful events such as this would not have occurred”.

Webster died after he was shot during the fight in a yard in Miss Daisy Lane on 7 September 2014 at around 8pm. He was wounded in the leg after the bullet passed through his femoral artery and he was pronounced dead later that night at the George Town hospital, having bled out from the wound. Despite his learning disabilities and other problems, Webster who was just 24 years old when he was killed, had won a gold medal at Bocci in the 2010 regional Olympics and was a talented athlete who excelled in a number of other sports.

CNS Intern Jaida Alexander contributed to this report.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (12)

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  1. R. U. Kidden says:

    And the Judge said, ”if guns were removed from the island, dreadful events such as this would not have occurred”.

    That sounds good, but unregistered guns have been illegal for years. If they are illegal, why are there so many illegal guns still being used….. or was this gun registered and legal?

  2. Anonymous says:

    System needs a serious Shake up

  3. philip says:

    enough is enough , when is someone in CPS going to held accountable for bringing these cases to court with half arse evidence ,weak witnesses that allows the criminals to walk free as well as costing us the taxpayers, this case should have never made it to court based on the evidence at hand.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A shame there will be no justice for Solly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do we not have or have access to forensics? I’m shocked at the statement by the judge about the gun recovered at the scene may not have been the gun used to shoot Sully. Why couldn’t the gun be dusted for fingerprints, bullet be tested?

      • Anonymous says:

        No surprise that criminals are better represented then the common people (you and I) here in Cayman islands. It would be better if they just leave the job of police, Judge and Jury to the people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because when the gun was tested it was said that it was not able to fire a live round.

        • Sammi blue says:

          It seems as if the broken gun was left at the scene to distract the police from actually looking for the real gun. That means that other gun is still out there and probably being used in other criminal activities. I find that Judge Quin is always thorough and fair. If he says there is not enough evidence to convict , I believe him. It is very sad but what else could he Do? I thin it is time to re organise DPP. How many more bungled are we suppose to accept from them. Enough is enough

      • SSM345 says:

        The gun recovered at the scene was proven to be broken i.e. it could never have fired the shot.

        • Anonymous says:

          Persons unknown has access to the gun for 24 hours before the gun was found by then cops. Amazing incompetence on all sides.

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