Woman gives emotional evidence in boyfriend’s trial

| 21/06/2021
Cayman News Service

(CNS): A 22-year-old woman from Bodden Town gave emotional but reluctant evidence on Monday at the trial of Jashawn Owen Anthony Johnson, who is charged with the murder of Michael Aaron Bush (22) on Christmas Eve. The woman, who was dating Johnson at the time, wept as she explained that she was both “uncomfortable and sad” to be in court because the man she wanted to be with was on trial.

Describing him as her first ever boyfriend, she said they had fallen in love very quickly, as she answered questions from lawyers. She said she had not seen any injuries on his neck when she was with him from late Christmas Eve to when the police came to find him on Boxing Day.

The crown’s case against Johnson hangs on whether or not this is a matter of self-defence. Johnson has admitted fighting with and stabbing Bush, claiming this was as a result of being provoked and injured by Bush, who Johnson has said was also armed that night outside the entertainment complex at the Strand Plaza.

The crown, however, contends that Johnson was not defending himself but had deliberately sought out a weapon and gone back to confront Bush, and then deliberately stabbed him with the intention of causing harm.

Johnson is seen on CCTV arguing with Bush outside Casa Bar. The footage shows Bush land the first punch and the men engage in a short struggle. Then Johnson pulls a knife and Bush, seeing the weapon, immediately turns and runs away into the car park, where he was stabbed. Bush returns shortly afterwards, having sustained a stab wound to the chest, walking around for a time as he shows the injury to people gathered in the area, before collapsing from what turns out to be a fatal wound to his heart.

There is no indication on the video footage that Johnson sustained any serious injury. He is also seen shortly after the fight on CCTV at Esso On the run and does not appear to have any wounds to his neck or face. The court has already heard from the man who drove Johnson home that night. He also said he did not notice any injuries on Johnson, though he said he had not studied him very closely.

However, when he finally handed himself into police, the young man had what appeared to be a significant wound to his neck. The crown contends that Johnson sustained this injury after the fight and probably just before he was arrested on the evening of 26 December.

His girlfriend’s evidence was important to the crown’s case as she gave statements to the police at the time that she had not seen any injuries, despite spending a good deal of the Christmas period with him.

In court, after suggesting several times that she could no longer remember what she had seen, she also reluctantly admitted that she had told police at the time that Johnson did not have a serious neck injury when she saw him during the daylight hours before he fled from police on Boxing Day.

Johnson’s girlfriend told the court that he had told her very little about what had happened in the fight because she had asked him not to tell her the details as she did not want to know about it.

In response to questions after seeing pictures of Johnson’s injury, she said that if she had seen such injuries, she would have taken him to the hospital. When questioned by his lawyer, she stated that Johnson had never told her that he had planned to hurt himself in order to establish a defence against any possible charges.

After police identified Johnson as the suspect, they had gone to his house around 3pm on Boxing Day to arrest him. At that point his girlfriend was with him, and she said he had been wearing a jacket. However, he reportedly took off that jacket as he fled from the police when they arrived.

Four hours later, when he turned up at the police station, Johnson had the neck injury, which he claimed he had sustained more than two days before in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve during the fight with Bush, which had led him to pull his own knife.

The case continues.

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