Johnson guilty of murder in Christmas Eve stabbing

| 02/09/2021 | 37 Comments
Michael Aaron Bush, who was killed on Christmas Eve

(CNS): Jashawn Owen Anthony Johnson (21) was found guilty on Thursday of the murder of Michael Aaron Bush (22) in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve 2020 at a nightclub complex in the Strand Plaza. Johnson had denied murdering Bush, claiming he had stabbed him in self-defence during an altercation outside the entertainment complex. He was tried by Justice Roger Chapple in June without a jury.

In a long ruling outlining his findings, the judge said that he was sure Johnson “was lying to me” during the course of the trial about the details of the stabbing and his claims of self-defence. Justice Chapple said that as a result of earlier provocation, Johnson had sought to confront the deceased to “even the score” and had intended to hurt him.

Johnson is now facing a life sentence, though Justice Chapple said he will have to make the difficult decision on the length of time the young adult must serve before he can become eligible for parole. Although the law calls for a 30 year average tariff, the judge has some discretion, given the circumstances of the murder and the person who commits it, particularly with regard to age, as is the case with Johnson, who was just 20 at the time of the murder and has no previous convictions.

As the judge delivered his ruing, he outlined in detail the facts of the case. Johnson had gone to the Strand entertainment complex with two friends that night. He went into Lillie’s nightclub but had been separated from them. At some point he had tried to enter Casa, another club at the plaza that has a minimum age. Because he was only 20, the security personnel had refused him entry.

Most of the events were caught on CCTV footage, which was shown in court during the trial. Johnson is seen trying to talk his way into Casa and as his does, Bush is seen to intervene. A security guard described Bush as being drunk and aggressive as he told the door staff not to allow Johnson to enter the club.

Following an angry verbal exchange and some pushing between Johnson and Bush, the security guard calmed the situation down and separated the two men. The judge said there was no doubt that Bush was behaving in a belligerent manner and that Johnson had been provoked.

But instead of getting away from the situation when he had the chance, Johnson went to the car in which he and his friends had arrived and retrieved a knife. He then went back to the scene where he had been in the altercation, looking “for an encounter”, the judge said. On the CCTV footage, Johnson is shown walking towards “potential, even likely, trouble” with Bush and inevitably ended up in the confrontation he had sought.

During the fight that followed, Johnson was struck by Bush and one of his friends, but none of Johnson’s opponents were armed. But Johnson pulled his knife and stabbed Bush twice. Bush then turned his back on Johnson and ran away into the car park. At that point, Johnson followed him, and out of sight of the CCTV appeared to inflict the fatal wound.

Johnson then returned to the car and began calling his friends to tell them he wanted to leave.

Meanwhile, despite being fatally wounded, Bush returned to the area in front of the club displaying his stab wound. It was not until several minutes later that the serious wound to his heart and the massive internal bleeding caught up with Bush and brought him down. He later died at the hospital as a result of the thoracic trauma.

As he delivered his verdict, the judge said that, given the circumstances, there was no question of self-defence, and even though Johnson had been under attack and believed he needed to use force, although the danger was very much of his own making, he acted disproportionately.

He found that Johnson had acted unreasonably and was intent on, if not killing Bush, causing him really serious harm. “The production and use of the knife was wholly disproportionate,” the judge said.

“Realistically, what other intention could he have when stabbing the deceased three times,” the judge said, adding that a reasonable man would not have acted in this way. As a result, he found that Johnson was guilty as charged.

Johnson is already in prison, having been held on remand since he was charged earlier this year. His tariff hearing was set for 23 November .

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Comments (37)

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  1. Sad Caymanian. says:

    We all know the difficulties that young Caymanian men like Jashawn have faced. May he get the treatment he needs.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s still walking and able to be “treated”. Unlike the dead guy. Did he not face “difficulties “ too?

    • Anonymous says:

      What difficulties do young Caymanian men face that are different from anywhere else???????

      This man stabbed someone to death over foolishness. Stop making excuses for violent idiots. HE CHOSE to be a stain.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Government and the people must learn more and more people are not the answer for a good life. People are running from over populated countries to come here looking for a better life. When Cayman had half the population that’s here now, life was lots better than what it is now, facts are facts. All around better, the cost of living was less, every one was working, no traffic jams, little crime and everyone was much happier . But greed for money had ruined Cayman and its no turning back .

  3. Anonymous says:

    35 like everyone else bredda

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jamaicans are turning Cayman into a little Jamaica, now that’s really sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      8;07am please STFU and educate yourself you racist POS,
      At least if cayman turns into a little Jamaica that still would be a lower scale of crime compared to, let’s just say even Miami/Florida, imagine active shootings happening on our island, why don’t you talk about that you ignorant banana.

      • Anonymous says:

        Jamaican is not a race

      • Anonymous says:

        10:20 am, Guns and Drugs don’t come from Miami in canoes. You need to educate yourself, when it was only Caymanians here, white, black, yellow and brown, never heard the word racist, only that started with expats mostly Jamaicans . Caymanians was never racists.

        • Anonymous says:

          Was never???

        • Anonymous says:

          Not sure but I don’t the murdered victim nor the convicted killer are Jamaicans… this came to be about Jamaicans and Jamaica is baffling to me…..have I miss something here??

    • Kettle calling who? says:

      So this thug is Jamaican? Part of the problem in Cayman is delinquent parents with too much money and no “bringupsy”. To add some of these thugs don’t even know who created them.

      And since these same delinquent parents need Jamaican helpers to wipe their lazy asses the kids grow up to be feral. Don’t blame the Jamaicans or Philipinos or Indians or any other nationalities hired as skiffs, servants, ass wipers or by their PC and sanitised name of “helpers”.

      Some of these so called parents do need help, or more like a wake up call since they created this mess. How many Jamaicans have you seen just this year prosecuted for felonies, not many compared to sons of this soil?

      I’m just old Anglo driftwood but believe me I’ve been around. Never have I seen such hatred towards a nationality that helped build this place out of a mosquito ridden swamp. It’s time for some people to wipe their own asses and accept who’s actually the root of the problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Looks like you hit a nerve, people here don’t like furiners telling them about their blatant bigotry, laziness, non existent parenting and infidelity. They need Jamaicans, hate them but can’t live without them. Fact

      • Anonymous says:

        Who’s the “root” of the problem? Society on a whole. People like you. People like me. People like your neighbor. You can play semantics all you want but Caymanians had paradise to themselves before being over-run by the mass of migrants wanting a piece of the Sun. The 24 sqaure mile wide tiny Island just capable of supporting the few that inhabited it, now with the only chance of survival is to import food/water for the over population. Kmfa before you wipe it.

        • Anonymous says:

          And where did those caymanians come from? You make it sound like Cayman was full of some saintly indigenous population. EVERYBODY on this island is an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant. Period.

          This man said Paradise to themselves lol. Go read a book

  5. Sam sam says:

    I say government needs to put a hefty fine on these thugs that tends to wear pants below their waist line showing their boxers an showing the acts as the way of a gangters dress code .

  6. Anonymous says:

    So Johnson didn’t want to fight hand to hand, grabbed a knife, stabbed his opponent twice and then chased the retreating wounded man down and effectively killed him…this is not a child…he is an adult with no value for the human lives of others….no leniency.

  7. Right ya so says:

    @ 02/09/2021 at 2:17 pm – first of all, you’re a tw@t for making a comment like that – try posting your name next time time loser. And secondly you need to get out more if you think any of those were/are great night clubs!

  8. D. Truth says:

    The biggest problem is that they have very little guidance at home while growing up…….. at home and at school.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Now let’s see a serious punishment for this serious crime. A sentence that lets him out in 10 years after good behavior will make life look cheap.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think having the death penalty would reduce the number of citizens getting killed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    All to try an act tough to attract girls. One is dead and the other in prison while these girls are living life.

    • Anonymous says:

      So what does that prove?

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. Steal your girl competitions getting out of hand!!!

        In all seriousness, if you do the crime, you must do the time. Hopefully, he learns his lesson.

      • Anonymous says:

        It proves that being a dick either gets you killed, or in prison, where there are no girls.

        The girls, that were to be impressed at the testosterone show, are still out and about and are living their best lives.

        Clear? Do try to keep up.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So sad what Cayman has come to, so very sad indeed, the young men has changed a lot. Cayman was the best in the nineties, no traffic jams, little crime and every Caymanian was working, and happy with much less stress. Wish it could stayed that way , but its lost forever, sad, very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:38 pm
      Reason being we have let too many criminals into these islands and until we slow it down it we will never see any improvement in criminality. When will they deem them ‘persona non grata’, or rescind their status.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 3.38 Greed and the power of the dollar has corrupted this island. And there’s no going back.

      • Anon says:

        CNS – out of interest what determines this being tried by a judge alone and not by a jury? Thanks in advance

        CNS: The defendant chose this option.

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot no rich expats with poor respect

    • Anonymous says:

      I wasn’t here in the 90s, so out of interest what do you think has been the biggest factor in this change? Most blame Jamaica …. Generally crime increases with lack of opportunity… interesting subject.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m thinking rose tinted spectacles here.

      I don’t disagree that Cayman was ‘better’ in many regards in the 90s, but let’s not fool ourselves here, crime and scumbaggery isn’t a new thing. We have plenty of caymanian men in prison who are serial offenders going back to the 90s.

      Also, there’s always a % of people who don’t want to work. That’s pretty much the same all the time!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hasn’t been a great nightclub since Sharkey’s.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Gangster games. Boys need better role models.

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