Lifers’ convictions stick in appeal cases

| 27/07/2015 | 4 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courthouse, George Town

(CNS): Two killers and one serial rapist will all remain behind bars after the Court of Appeal upheld the convictions for murder against Raziel Jeffers and Chad Anglin, as well as a double rape conviction against Jeffrey Barnes. All three men are serving life sentences. Jeffers was convicted of gunning down gang rival Damion Ming and Anglin for bludgeoning Swiss Banker, Frederic Bise, to death in a sexually motivated killing. Both men were tried and convicted of murder in 2014. Barnes was given a life sentence after a second conviction in 2013 for rape.

The men had appealed guilty verdicts that were all delivered following Grand Court jury trials. Jeffers’ appeal was heard during the spring session of the Court of Appeal earlier this year but the judges had deferred their decision until the summer session, which  ended Friday.

Jeffers’ lawyer had argued that the judge in the case had delivered a biased summing up to the jury at the end of the case. But the appeal court disagreed and found that the judge had “skillfully marshalled” the prosecution’s case, which was attacked by the defence, and gave the case for the jury in a “structured and a comprehensive format”. The appeal court found that the judge did not act unfairly to deny the appellant justice.

Meanwhile, Anglin had appealed against his conviction for the cold case and brutal killing of Bise in 2008, based on a statement that he argued was inadmissible, a skewered summation and disputed evidence from an underage witness. But the appeal judges dismissed the appeal, stating that the judge had made the right decisions regarding the statements and evidence. The panel also found the summing up was delivered in the usual and correct fashion and the presiding judge was not required to completely review all of the details of the defence counsel’s closing speech.

Jeffrey Barnes’ conviction was also upheld, despite his appeal that he did not get a fair trial as a result of adverse pre-trial publicity. The appeal panel did not give the reasons but said a written judgment would be released outlining why they believed that Barnes trial was not unduly prejudiced. Barnes will, however, appeal his life sentence at the next session. Justice Charles Quin had imposed the life sentence, which is provided for in the law, after Barnes’ second conviction for the same crime.

The arguments over the imposition of a mandatory life sentence on Barnes was postponed to allow the Attorney General’s Chambers to wade in on the matter, as it raises constitutional questions. There are more than 20 people in HMP Northward currently serving mandatory life-means-life sentences without a tariff, despite the introduction of the Bill of Rights and the passage of a new conditional release law, which has not yet been implemented.

That law, which was passed in 2014, calls for the introduction of minimum sentence tariffs for murderers to allow them the opportunity of parole. However, since it is not yet in force, in contradiction of the Bill of Rights, they remain incarcerated with no possibility for parole and their only hope of future release at present is if the governor was to grant clemency.

A significant number of the criminal appeals scheduled to be heard in this session were postponed until the November session due to problems with legal representation, documentation and a number of other challenges.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (4)

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  1. NoMo ADHD says:

    Looks like the wanna-be gangstas wanna do the crime but don’t wanna do the time. Also appears that they have finally run out of tricks. Silly rabbits.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeffrey Barnes has been a rapist for a long long time, its just this time the charge stuck!!!! Rot in hell Jeffrey Barnes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stop wasting taxpayers money on criminals. Put them out to work in the hot sun everyday. Legal aid is a farce. He who goes and looks for trouble should know how he is going to get out of it.

  4. Island Girl says:

    I wish now that no more legal aid will be spent on these murderers. They did the crime so now must do the time. They should not be allowed to ever appeal again. They should have gotten 10 life sentences each for these horrible crimes.

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