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Spliff-rolling driver gets 4 years for fatal crash

| 25/07/2017 | 53 Comments

(CNS): Antonio Kelly (21), who admitted rolling a spliff while driving at around 85mph before crashing a car and killing his passenger, was handed a four year jail term Tuesday. Kelly was driving Jordan Ebanks’ car when he lost control on Old Robin Road in early hours of 17 November 2013. Kelly will be serving the four years on top of an eight year sentence he received for his part in an armed robbery at a nail salon in 2015.

As Justice Charles Quin handed Kelly a total sentence of twelve years for his part in the nail shop heist and causing the death of Ebanks (23) through careless driving, he said the cases were unrelated in any way, so Kelly would serve the sentences consecutively. The judge did, however, run a number of other shorter terms for burglaries and handling charges concurrently with the eight year sentence for the robbery.

Kelly was just 18 years old when he crashed the car in which Ebanks was killed instantly. The judge said that Kelly did not have a driver’s license when he offered to drive Ebanks’ car and take him home. The court heard that Ebanks had been drinking and did not want to drive his new car because he was over the limit.

However, after he was arrested and charged, Kelly admitted that he had been smoking ganja. After he pleaded guilty to careless driving he also told police that he had been trying to roll a spliff when he lost control and crashed the car.

Justice Quin said it was hard to imagine a more serious case of causing death by careless driving and that Kelly had shown total disregard for the 30mph limit on the stretch of road where the smash happened. He said it was incredible to believe he was rolling a spliff while driving at 85mph, noting that no one should be driving at that speed anywhere in Cayman. He said it was “terrifyingly excessive”, as he gave Kelly a five year jail term, which he cut to four because of his eventual admission.

The judge spoke of Kelly’s very troubled upbringing and the violent abuse he suffered at the hands of a drunken stepfather. The court heard that from 11 years old, Kelly had begun smoking ganja, and although he had been diagnosed with serious mental health problems, he had never been treated. From the age of 13 he was sucked into the criminal justice system and had been in care or prison on and off ever since.

Justice Quin also spoke about the tragic loss of Ebanks for his family members, who, the court heard via a victim impact statement, had all been devastated by his death.

The judge questioned why the director of public prosecutions had charged Kelly with causing death by careless rather than dangerous driving, given the circumstances of the case. But Deputy DPP Patrick Moran explained that Kelly had initially claimed that Ebanks had tried to grab the wheel of the car just before the smash, and had therefore been charged with the lesser offence. It was not until the plea had been accepted that Kelly admitted that he was not concentrating because he was rolling a spliff.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (53)

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  1. Antonio Kelly Family Member says:

    Antonio was honest enough to admit his wrongs and on numerous occasions have said that it should of been him. God didnt give none of you authority to pass judgment on Antonio his life or his family. Antonio had a loving and caring mother who tried her best with Antonio and sadly 5 months ago she died so the boy is grieving as well so watch your mouth when u come on here talking bout his family. Ms Angela has forgiven Antonio so why the XXXX y’all dont hop off his case. Antonio would never hurt a fly. His only problem was company. Ms Angela the family of Antonio send our deepest condolences and we know that nothing we say can bring your son back and we do hope you find some sort of peace now that this is over. Antonio now feels what it is to loose someone and trust me he ain’t doing so well so the time some you take bashing him on here look at your closets make sure its clean.




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    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t need authority from your imaginery friend to speak our mind on this matter, especially when it involves the publics safety on the road and off.

      Antonio wouldn’t hurt anyone? Please he already killed someone and that wasn’t enough he had to do armed robbery. He’s a nuisance and a dangerous one at that. It’s in the publics best interest that he remains in prison for a long, long time.




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      • Antonio Kelly Family Member says:

        So god is imaginary now! You stupid fool. Anyways Antonio did wrong and it might not be what the family would have wanted but life goes on. He now feels what it feels like to loose a loved one so I know he is very much sorry and wish he could have take back what happen.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Please send him my condolences. No one wins in this situation. There are no good endings to any of this, but for myself I can help to perpetuate healing, rather than continue to stew in the pain and loss by causing more pain. Regardless of the terrible choices that were made, I will not make it more difficult on Antonio by bashing him now that all is said and done. I have lost a son, he has lost a mother. Perhaps one day I will meet him and help to fill that gap. I believe it would be the greatest thing I could do in Jordan’s memory. I say this simply because of the kind of person Jordan was. He was incapable of holding a grudge. He would have mentored Antonio in a different time, a different environment. He was drawn to struggling people, and they to him. Jordan was the most accepting and non-judgmental young man you would have ever the hope to meet. I have long expressed a desire to speak with Antonio personally, whether or not he is willing is a matter for him to decide. Maybe one day. Until then, I understand my family’s anger but I have to do what God tells me to do and that is to deal with this from a perspective of love and forgiveness, in Jordan’s honor.




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    • Anonymous says:

      He would never hurt a fly, apart from killing someone criminally and being involved in armed robbery, and that is just what he was caught for you pathetic apologist for criminal scum. YOU are part of the problem. There are wider things that matter in a small society than the personal forgiveness of a family or your quaint use of religion to denigrate real justice being done to someone so arrogant, lazy and selfish. Yes, he is being judged, and quite rightly too.




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  2. JORDAN'S 1ST COUSIN says:

    As i speak for my whole family – I think its a slap in our face, because Kelly is only serving 4 years for taking my 1st cousin’s life….yet 8YRS for a robbery????

    ….this court system IS MESSED UP.

    Regardless of the struggles Kelly had as a child, its no excuse….wrong is wrong right is right, he should spend the REST OF HIS LIFE BEHIND BARS!!!

    S.I.M.P.L.E




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  3. Anonymous says:

    What kind of sentences are these? 8 years for armed robbery and 4 years for killing someone in a car?? So 12 years total and will probably be out in 6 for good behavior. Someone is dead, people have been terrorized and this guy will be walking around again when he is 27 causing more carnage.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Thats one of the problems in Cayman, the criminals gets off with a slap on the wrist and easy life in northward Hilton with us hard working people paying $ 70,000 kyd p. y. for their board and keep. They are encouraged to do crimes, for they know they won’t be really be punished. They should have to do hard labour in prison with corporal punishment, then we will see a lot less crime. but thats against human rights.. I am asking all Caymanians what about the dead person and their family human rights.




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    • Anonymous says:

      People are now trying to use this as a benchmark for other cases. E.g. Saying 10 years is too long for possession of a gun and ammo if this guy only got 12 years for his crimes. The sentencing in this case is way off and should be appealed by the Crown before it sets dangerous precedents.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems a little light to me considering that he is a career criminal.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    So in total how many years in Prison did Kelly get?




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  6. Anonymous says:

    The sentence should be 10 years minimum.




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    • Anonymous says:

      You really think 10 years is good enough for a man who robbed a nail salon and ended up killing a next person for reckless driving?




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      • Anonymous says:

        It says 10 MINIMUM, meaning the person feels it should have been 10 years or more.




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        • Anonymous says:

          He got 12. . He got more than 10, he might not have gotten more than 10 for this case but in total he got 12. I feel as if he should of gotten more tbh. Because Rae-Smith got 12 years alone for being part of the robbery, he only got 8 for it, he should of gotten the same amount as Smith or more plus the 4 years for this case. My dearest condolences for the family and friends of Jordan Ebanks.




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          • Anon says:

            The lady got 12 years for the robbery, why because she knew from the get go what was going to happen and when and when the robbery did occur she acted as though she were a victim and then trying to act tough with the knowledge that she could act tough with the unknown robbers (she knew who they were) to the other paying customers who were terrified with the robbery not least to mention the fact that they had a gun pointed in their faces and threatened under the fear of being then and their subjected to force. 12 years I think quinn missed a 1 somewhere 112 or 121 years would suffice. If the weapon had went off and someone lost a life what would she had done, nothing why because she played along as if to be clueless. POS like her, had a good job no need to get involved with that kind of lifestyle.




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            • Anonymous says:

              There is also the matter of the Rotary raffle money that she was said to be involved in. It was conveniently swept under the carpet. She was fired for it and then sued her employers for unfair dismissal. Only in Cayman….




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          • Anonymous says:

            You don’t get it. They are saying 10 years minimum term. Someone who gets 12 years could be out in 6 years with time off for good behavior etc. they are saying parole shouldn’t be considered until he has served 10 years of the sentence.




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    • Anonymous says:

      9:21 am, he should get 10 times 10 years.




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  7. Concerned citizen says:

    it makes me sad the amount of troubled teens roaming the streets of Cayman. we are in for some serious social problems if this trend is not reversed.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree. The trend of soft sentences must be reversed so these scumbags can be locked up for long enough that by the time they get out their testosterone levels have dropped significantly.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Starts at the top! Leaders and the media.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Why do these cases take several years to be resolved?




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t speed.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Can some one explain why it takes 4 years for a case to come to sentencing in CI?




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  11. Innerbeing says:

    These sentences are unduly harsh for the offences and the age of the offender and his circumstances. I think his lawyer will be able to appeal them especially since he had untreated addiction and mental health issues.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Well dying was unduly harsh on Jordan, too. Just saying. When you’ve beheld your child broken and bruised and autopsied in a casket, come back and comment. How about that?




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    • Anonymous says:

      I don;t see why we care about his sob story. Society is better with people who behave like this locked up for a long time. “I’m an addict”, “I’m a drunk”, “I was abused”, they all spew any old crap out when they are caught doing crimes.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Well he should be able to get his spliffs still




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  13. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate greatly that Justice Quin saw fit to hand down 2 separate sentences, one that addresses each separate charge. Thanking everyone who has commented, re-posted, remembered and loved Jordan, who sent love and encouragement to us through these last terrible years. To everyone, especially younger ones reading this: PLEASE don’t drink, drug and drive. Your death will break your mother’s heart. Jordan, rest in peace now, son. Until we meet again. Mommy loves you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of this young boy. I lost my brother by some idiot on the road so know how devastating this can be. However, I am equally devastated to know this idiot only got 4 years in prison. He’ll be walking the streets again in the sunshine in 2 years. It’s disgraceful! I feel so sorry for the mother of this young boy. A part of her has gone with her son and her life will never be the same. I hope this thoughtless idiot is full of remorse and it will lay on his conscience for the rest of his days and make his life a misery too. RIP Jordan.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Hi. Thanks for your kindness. With the sentence being 12 years altogether he would do 7 of that and then would be released on parole. He is in fact very remorseful, and has consistently expressed that, which is one thing that has enabled us to take kinder view toward him. Forgiving him releases me. It does not bring Jordan back, only God can and will do that one fine day.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Except for God being a fiction. Apart from that.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Oh wow, thanks! Thanks for bringing that up, for taking the time to comment with your cruel opinion and playing on people’s fears and insecurities about seeing their loved one again. Such a kind, thoughtful person you are, eh? No one knows for sure if there’s a God or not, but the hope that there is, is sometimes the only hope a family may have left. Thanks for you offhand manner in helping perpetuating fear and doubt today. Rest easy knowing you’ve done your good deed for the day.




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            • Anonymous says:

              They won’t ever see their loved ones again. People are just the product of a chain of biochemical reactions.




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            • Anonymous says:

              “No one knows for sure if there is a God or not”

              Yes we know and it’s annoying to hear about it everyday. Grow up.




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          • Anonymous says:

            By your logic – How abt gravity? Show me where you exist outside this realm again?




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            • Anonymous says:

              Oh shut up. Please. Just be quiet.




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            • Anonymous says:

              How about you show us there is such a realm? Your god-idea seems pretty heavily based on it, and yet you don’t want to make the positive case for it at all? Gravity we can explain with physics by the way.




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      • Anonymous says:

        No he wont because he got 8 more years in another case

        https://caymannewsservice.com/2017/07/mlas-former-pa-given-12-years-for-robbery/




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    • Anonymous says:

      My sincere condolences on Jordan’s death. He tried to do the right thing by not drinking and driving, and lost his life as a result. Antonio was a lost boy, even when he was very young in grade school. He was kind, no mean bone in his body, just seemed very much lost. He had an older sister (who seemed very responsible) who tried to look after him at school, and did her best with him. I believe his remorse for killing Jordan is likely genuine. Unfortunately, his family’s dysfunction and lack of guidance led to your son’s death. My deepest sympathy.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I believe you, and thank you for your expression of sympathy. One of the things Antonio has said all through this was “Jordan was a nice boy, he treated me good, it should have been me.” Meaning himself. As a mother I could not help but find it in my heart to feel for him. I stick to my belief that forgiveness is the way I must go, and while that makes me rather unpopular with many in the community, even in my own family and Jordan’s family, that is my choice.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Didn’t you say not that long ago that he didn’t know him and that night was the first time they met?




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          • Anonymous says:

            Go away creep.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Yes I did. He was talking about Jordan having been nice to him that night they met. They were together for several hours.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Please, you are being played by a smart criminal who is playing the remorse card to get the family onside for a lighter sentence. I am sorry for your loss but don’t let this cynical murderer take advantage of you and your family like this.




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          • Anonymous says:

            If you’re not smart enough to figure it out, it’s an insensitive question to ask. The lady is not on trial. Her son is not on trial. How dumb do you have to be to not understand that? So like I said the first time around, go away creep. Unless you’re just trolling. In that case, go away troll. If you had any sense you might figure out that you owe this lady an apology.




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        • Anonymous says:

          I am the commentator above and also the one who called the commentator below (the one who questioned whether Antonio and Jordan knew each other before the accident) a creep… I am sorry that by choosing to forgive causes you further problems with your family and in the community – I do believe it is the right thing to do. My very best at this difficult time.




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        • Michel Lemay says:

          My sincere condoleances to to you madam. Your forgiveness of the young man who took your son’s life has touched my heart and is a great reminder the importance of true forgiveness from the heart. God bless.




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