Speaker denies assault charges

| 03/07/2020
Cayman News Service
Speaker McKeeva Bush in the LA

(CNS): McKeeava Bush (65), the speaker of the Legislative Assembly and MLA for West Bay West, denied three charges of assault and one of being drunk and disorderly, when he appeared via video link in Summary Court on Friday. The veteran politician is accused of beating up the bar manager at Coral Beach bar in February. However, no trial date has been set for the case because Bush’s attorney is waiting on forensic analysis of CCTV footage.

Michael Alberga, who is representing the speaker, told the court that he had dispatched the tapes, which he received from the crown in discovery, to Miami for analysis. But he explained that with the COVID-19 pandemic raging in Florida, work at the lab had been stalled, and given the circumstances caused by “the health crisis there”, he did not know when the analysis would be done.

But Alberga hinted that once the work is done on the footage, circumstances may change and there may be no trial. The case has been set down for a management hearing on Friday, 14 August, and Bush was bound over to return on that date.

Bush has denied that he attacked the woman, who was managing the Seven Mile Beach bar the night that Bush was said to have engaged in a long night of drinking. He denied pulling her hair, grabbing her or throwing several bus tubs (utility crates). He also denied being drunk at a licensed premises, using offensive language and refusing to leave.

Bush has claimed that he went to the bar, which it is said is partially owned by a close relative of the MLA, to get food. He said he fell and because he was disorientated he lashed out at people trying to assist him.

Bush has, however, admitted that he does have an issue with alcohol abuse as a result of never dealing with the grief surrounding the tragic loss of his daughter some nine years ago. Earlier this year, Bush took a leave of absence from his job as speaker in order to seek medical help for underlying mental health issues.

But although he has not presided over the Legislative Assembly sittings, Bush has still been involved in the work of parliament and presiding over the lying-in-state of the late Leola Esterleen Ebanks (74), a former legislator who died on 23 April.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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