Young murderer didn’t intend to kill, says lawyer

| 07/12/2021 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Criminal defence attorney Dennis Brady told a court Monday that his young client, Jashawn Owen Anthony Johnson (21), did not intend to kill Michael Aaron Bush (22) last Christmas Eve when he stabbed him outside a nightclub in The Strand plaza. Brady argued that Johnson was provoked, in fear of violence and believed he was defending himself when he pulled his knife during the altercation in which Bush was killed.

Following a trial in September, which was heard by Justice Roger Chapple without a jury, Johnson was found guilty of murder, not manslaughter, after he had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge on the grounds of self-defence.

Pointing out that the mandatory punishment for murder is life imprisonment with a suggested tariff of 30 years, Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Candia James-Malcolm told the court that Johnson was remorseful and distraught about killing Bush, as noted in a social inquiry report.

But she said he still has a “lack of insight” about his culpability and insists, contrary to the CCTV evidence and findings of the court, that when Bush ran away into the car park and Johnson pursued him, he was checking to see if Bush was going for a weapon and that was not when he stabbed him.

The court had found, however, that following an altercation with Bush, Johnson had gone to the car in which he had arrived at the club and retrieved a knife. He then waited outside the club for a moment or so before confronting Bush and a fight then broke out. Most of this was caught on camera.

In the footage Johnson appears to have pulled a knife, then Bush ran off and Johnson followed him. The judge concluded at trial that the stabbing occurred in the car park, largely away from the cameras and witnesses and after Bush had fled, which undermined Johnson’s claims of self-defence and led the judge to find that this was a case of murder and not manslaughter.

The crown also read from a moving victim impact report by Bush’s father, as the rest of the family were too distraught to take part in the process, though it was evident that Bush’s mother and sisters remain distraught, and a year later the family is still grieving deeply.

As Brady urged the judge to consider all of the mitigating circumstances, he argued that, given the hostile situation that his client had found himself in at the time of the killing, there was no intent and there was an element of self-defence in his actions.

Brady spoke about how Johnson did not even have plans to go out that fateful night and was persuaded to do so by his friend. He also noted that his client was just 20 at the time of the murder.

The judge acknowledged the tragic circumstances of the case but said he would need time to consider the submission. He said he would deliver his decision in January on the length of time Johnson must serve before he will be eligible for parole.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Throw the keys in the recycle bin. Next!

  2. Anonymous says:

    The lawyer’s claims are not evidence. Why do the Courts sit there and listen to these bs arguments that are not remotely connected to any testimony or physical evidence? C’mon prosecutors, make an objection.! Talking fantasy land just wastes everyone’s time.

    • Anonymous says:

      1 – Objections only happen on TV and in American courtrooms.

      2 – Lawyers are creatures of instructions: it is the Defendant making these claims not the attorney.

      3- B/S arguments are heard so that it cannot be said later on that the def didn’t have a chance to have his say.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Life and send him to Wakefield to serve. These young Caymanian hot heads need to be made an example of. Maybe it will save someone’s life in the future. This guys life is done anyway. Waste.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And his lawyer…..this was clearly a manslaughter. Why did he not take that? He’s a kid. He killed someone in what was some sort of excessive self defence: this screams manslaughter. The lawyer should have negotiated and advised this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Self defence?

      “Following an altercation with Bush, Johnson had gone to the car in which he had arrived at the club and retrieved a knife. He then waited outside the club for a moment or so before confronting Bush and a fight then broke out. Most of this was caught on camera.”

      “In the footage Johnson appears to have pulled a knife, then Bush ran off and Johnson followed him.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Was he trying to tickle him with the knife?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!!! If you choose to stab someone there is reasonable expectation that you can/will kill them. His “didn’t intend to kill” defense is a pile of rubbish.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Close Lillies

  7. Anonymous says:

    I find this argument weak,

    Brady spoke about how Johnson did not even have plans to go out that fateful night and was persuaded to do so by his friend. He also noted that his client was just 20 at the time of the murder.

    So put his friend on the stand then for persuading him to go out and putting him in a situation in which he couldn’t control himself.

    I’ve seen a couple of these skirmishes and I have no idea what these people think. One time I saw two people years ago fighting each other with machetes swinging wildly, completely oblivious to the harm and possible fatality they could cause but luckily didn’t. It’s like they become possessed with one objective, be the big man, display the rage, backing down isn’t an option, and a discard for all common sense, but hey sorry, I never thought I was going to kill you 🤷🏻‍♀️

  8. Anonymous says:

    Times this could have been avoided by Jashawn.

    1. “that when Bush ran away into the car park and Johnson pursued him, he was checking to see if Bush was going for a weapon and that was not when he stabbed him.” – Could have went to his car and drove away.

    2. “Johnson had gone to the car in which he had arrived at the club and retrieved a knife.” – Could have gotten into the car and drove away.

    3. “In the footage Johnson appears to have pulled a knife, then Bush ran off and Johnson followed him.” – Could have let him run, went to his car and drove away.

    Not saying Michael was a saint in this but Jashawn’s “Lack of insight to culpability” is a lack of something alright but it’s not culpability. The judge needs to put him away, he had the opportunity to save his future but threw it away by killing Michael Bush whether or not Michael was right or wrong. Put him where he deserves, out of society.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Deportation order!

  11. Anonymous says:

    After serving his time please deport him back to his country,if you left your country and go to some one else country to look a better life and this is what become of him he is of no good.wicked him wicked.

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      Deport him now and let his home country pay for his incarceration.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I suppose he just intended to give him a close shave then? Anyone who carries a knife to a bar expects to use it.

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