West Bay gunman jailed for 24 years

| 05/02/2020 | 18 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A West Bay man who has long been associated with armed gangs has been handed a 24-year prison sentence, having been convicted of trying to murder his former girlfriend and her lover in 2015. Aaron Crawford (27) was convicted several weeks ago but details of the case were under wraps because he had several cases running in the courts, including an unrelated conviction for the unlawful possession of a gun, which had been overturned in the appeal court and was pending retrial. He was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder and the possession of an unlicensed firearm, following a judge alone trial last year which was plagued with delays.

During a terrifying ordeal, Crawford broke into the house and kicked his way into the bedroom of his ex-partner, who was there with her current boyfriend, before firing at the couple. However, the male victim fought back and stabbed Crawford, who ended up in hospital.

The crown contended that while the two victims survived the ordeal, they were too scared to give evidence. This was supported by the fact that on the morning the trial was supposed to start the male victim was in hospital, having been seriously assaulted the night before he was due to come to give evidence. When Crawford’s former lover was due to take the stand, she claimed she could not remember anything.

This presented significant legal difficulties. But although the key witnesses were not able to appear for the crown or support its case, recent changes in the evidence law allowed their police statements to be admitted at trial, which, combined with the horrifying 911 call by Crawford’s ex on the night he broke into her home, prosecutors were able to convince Justice Marlene Carter, who heard the case without a jury, and she was able to satisfy herself of Crawford’s guilt.

As she handed down the lengthy prison term last month, Justice Carter said there were serious aggravating factors in the case, not least the circumstances of his terrifying invasion of the victim’s home in the middle of the night, plus Crawford’s long rap sheet, his previous convictions for possessing guns and the fact that he was on bail for a firearms offence. But she was unable to find any mitigating circumstances.

Justice Carter said Crawford, who is a father of two, had escalated his offending in this case and had gone to his former girlfriend’s house armed with a loaded gun with the intention to do serious harm. She said he was “a real and present danger to society”.

Crawford is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He was acquitted of murder in 2011 when he was just 18 years old, after he was tried for the gang-related killing of Alric Peddie, a night club security guard, the previous year, along with two other West Bay men, Jose Sanchez and Roger Deward Bush.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Next!

  2. Anonymous says:

    No names are strictly Caymanian as Caymanian isn’t ingenious.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Crawford is not a caymanian name.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done RCIPS and we’ll done Judge. Unless you are going to enforce long sentences to criminals like this Cayman and it’s innocent victims will suffer. There has to be a deterrent for such crimes or it will escalate worse than what it already is. Where are the days gone when you could leave your house door open and your car keys in the ignition. I can’t understand what has happened over the years for these people to act in such a way. I certainly believe it’s down to their upbringing. The “don’t care less” attitude by their parents is unbelievable. If you can’t bring your children up in a respectful manner, don’t have them. They aren’t forced on people. It’s no good blaming Social Services for everything either. They should be there as a last resort but it’s down to the parents. They have to take responsibility and they are the influence for their children at an early age……….the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

  5. bob says:

    what a waste of space he is!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Geez.. all this happening right now in the cayman islands by people surrounding us ?? Quite scary to think about. Where did all this angry come from ? The news headlines nowadays in this country doesn’t even seem real. Like your just having a bad dream and cant wait to wake up out of it, only to find that its reality.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How many more of these criminal types? Identified early and given every intervention available at the time plus social services support. Yet they only feel empowered and act out lawlessly. Next one…

  8. Anonymous says:

    What we need here is a ‘three-strikes’ law. Having said that, if they did enact it we’d probably have to turn LC into a penal colony.

  9. Anonymous says:

    He didn’t kill anyone ( this time!) and he didn’t get life.

  10. Anonymous says:

    24 years sounds like an appropriate prison term. Unfortunately in Cayman a 24 year sentence means he will likely be out doing what he does in a few years or less.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Seems light for shooting at two people AND possessing an unlicensed firearm, plus his long rap sheet, and the usual 50% off. The judges need to get serious about crime. The rest of us are not safe when these thugs are not in prison.

  12. Anon says:

    Is this another Caymanian?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. In the space of a week, 2 of the island’s most dangerous offenders are thankfully behind bars. And both home grown. Can’t blame ex-pats this time. Well done RCIPS and the courts.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rest easy Aaron and don’t let the time do you. Big up.

    • Bertie : B says:

      Time does Everybody ! why this punk be any different ? yeah I said it , he a punk , real Men would fight with fists , Not Guns , And they fight while the other man is AWAKE .

  14. Anonymous says:

    Add a zero behind the 24, that’s life. So you can kill in Cayman and get life and be out before your 60th birthday.

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