Gunman awaits decision on life tariff in WB killing

| 08/02/2018 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

Leonard Antonio Ebanks

(CNS): Leonard Antonio Ebanks is awaiting a decision from a Grand Court judge on the minimum term he will serve in jail for the murder of Tyrone Burrell in 2010 in what the crown said was a gang-related killing. Ebanks was given a mandatory life sentence in 2011 but made a reluctant appearance in Grand Court Wednesday. He, like several other lifers, has raised the issue that the current process of setting tariffs is unfair because under the previous system, which was in effect when he was convicted, he would have been released much earlier.

The change in the law has led to the courts imposing tariffs for all prisoners serving life sentences, but many of them have argued that it should not be retroactive. Ebanks is one of around a dozen lifers who have had, or will have, the minimum time they should serve before they can be eligible for release on licence defined in a tariff.

The starting point for that tariff under the Conditional Release Law is 30 years. But in recent times several other lifers have been released on licence after petitioning the governor, having served on average around 25 years.

However, the argument was settled by Justice Alex Henderson, who said the prisoners who had not already applied for release before the introduction of the Conditional Release Law had no real expectation that they would have served a shorter time under the old system because a pattern or precedent had not been established.

Since Cayman abolished the death penalty in 1991 and introduced a mandatory life term, no lifer has actually died in jail. Many have already been released and several more are likely to be released in the coming months after serving considerably less time than those now being dealt with under the new law. So far, the shortest tariffs have been 28 years, largely due to the age of the killers or other mitigating circumstances

It is likely that Ebanks will be given a time period close to the 30-year basic tariff in the law, as there were few mitigating circumstances in the case. Ebanks shot Burrell, who was just 20 years old at the time, in the head in a yard at a West Bay house.

Prosecutors claimed at trial that the motive was gang-related, as Ebanks believed that the young man was a ‘gang spy’ who was running between the Birch Tree Hill and Logwoods gangs, delivering information, and that Ebanks was under the impression that he was a target of the Logwoods gang.

Ebanks is also serving a consecutive 20-year term for being an accessory in the brutal murder of Swiss banker, Fredric Bise. Ebanks was found guilty of assisting Chad Anglin, who is serving 34 years for killing Bise, by helping him try to dispose of the body in a car blaze.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Juniper says:

    Why the heck are these lowlifes allowed to wear sunglasses when they come to court? Sunglasses are a luxury that shouldn’t be afforded to murderers and rapists.

  2. Tut alors!. says:

    Why shoud an accused [person] who has been charged be afforded anonymity and allowed the luxury of no comments being allowed on his article?

    CNS: The comment box on all cases is closed until a verdict has been reached on innocence or guilt or a plea made, due to the local sub judice laws. If we allowed people to comment on ongoing court cases (actually starting from when they are arrested), the defence attorney could argue that the suspect has not received a fair trial.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Stupid, cretinous man.

  4. West bay Premier says:

    And after they spend a life sentence, they come out and get involved in crime again, and have to go back to prison. I say then that the death penalty should be enacted and stop wasting time and Taxpayers money on that kind .

    • Anonymous says:

      Given the state of the system here currently, I would not dismiss the possibility that a few of the incarcerated (although this one seems pretty clear) are possibly innocent. That is why we no longer have the death penalty, although I am not sure you would understand that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Funny how all these malicious murders (not spontaneous manslaughter convicts) are begging for mercy now! What about the mercy that they did not show their victims?! Hope the Courts will uphold the maximum sentences for each one and keep them in Northward for generations!

  6. Anon says:

    For such a small island we have an alarming amount of psychopaths.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please support independent journalism in the Cayman Islands