Christmas Eve killer to serve 24-year life term

| 11/01/2022 | 35 Comments
Michael Aaron Bush, killed Christmas Eve 2020

(CNS): Jashawn Owen Anthony Johnson (21) will serve a minimum of 24 years in jail before he is eligible for parole for 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, who was just 19 when he stabbed and killed Bush following an altercation, received a lower tariff than the standard 30-year life term because of his age and the circumstances of what the judge described as a “tragic case from every possible point of view”.

While the sentence was delivered by Justice Roger Chapple via Zoom on Tuesday, Johnson hung his head, as he faced the prospect of another 23 years behind bars, having served just over a year since his arrest a few days after the murder. Johnson is now 21 and will be 45 before he can even be considered for release.

Johnson was convicted in September last year following a trial, after he had pleaded not guilty to murder on the grounds of self-defence. But the judge, who heard the case alone without a jury, found that while Johnson had been provoked by Bush to some extent, it fell far short of that claim.

Justice Chapple said Johnson had, in fact, deliberately sought out a knife and engineered another confrontation with Bush after an earlier altercation where Johnson felt he had been “disrespected” by Bush. But the judge said this was a “trivial reason” to fuel such a violent response.

Nevertheless, given how young and immature Johnson was, the judge accepted that he had been provoked, that he had not planned to kill anyone that night and that he had not intended to kill Bush but to cause him serious harm.

Therefore he found that he could depart from the minimum three decades behind bars, which constitutes the minimum term for murder in the Cayman Islands. The judge said that a 30-year term would be “arbitrary, disproportionate and too harsh”, as he imposed the 24-year tariff on the life sentence.

Noting that Bush was from a very close loving family, Justice Chapple said that “no sentence can turn back the clock or undo what happened on Christmas Eve 2020”. The judge also said that what Johnson did was out of character but the actions had led to him ruining part of his own life.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A life is not worth anything nowadays, all because of human rights.

  2. caymanian says:

    So no comments or thoughts about the lack of care to help him live. The police and ambulance and 911 should answer to the SLOW response time to save his life. the cops just stood there while he bled out on the ground. If it was a visitor they would be there much quicker. This establishment SHOULD be shut down. The hotels should warn guest to NOT go to strand complex because you will be in danger by our local people. Is that what we need here. Just shut them DOWN. This young man would not sit in jail so long if the other young man was saved.

  3. Anonymous says:

    When I think of all the amazing things I experienced and accomplished between the ages of 19 and 45, it really reinforces how much this dude has thrown away. Ruined multiple families for NOTHING!

    Come on boys, do better! Stop traveling with knives/machetes/guns in your car. Maybe without easy access to these things you can avoid destroying others’ lives (and your own!!!!!) in the heat of a disagreement.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:37 you say a lot in your post and every parent should be teaching children from very young how important each year of life ( yours and others) are at every stage, teachers and counselors should be repeating this same message. Teach empathy, kindness, love. Demonstrate empathy, kindness, love.

    • Anonymous says:

      They need parents first

    • Anonymous says:

      If the other guy did not provoke him it wouldn’t lead to this he was always a trouble maker guess he messed with the wrong person

  4. George Ebanks says:

    Jashawn, use this time to rehabilitate yourself. A real tragedy for our young men.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How is this different to the Brac kids who killed the guy in Bananas and got 7 and a half years? That case is looking pretty poorly done now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of two lives trying to act like tough guys.

  7. Anonymous says:

    (and other common thug values)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sad. These young men ruin so many lives for what?
    One dead, one in prison. Families destroyed and heartbroken. For what?
    Tragic all around.

  9. Anonymous says:

    24 years? Check on him in 10 years and see if he’s still incarcerated!

    Perhaps a headline in a few years ….”Johnson committed the crime while on early release from a 24 year murder sentence in 2022″. It’s happened before….just saying!

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to clarify, 24 years is the term before he is eligible for consideration for release on licence. There isn’t any prospect of his release before that time has expired, and no guarantee that he will be at that point either.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jashawn Owen Good christian name ensured success in life

  11. Elvis says:

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Send him to every school in Cayman, to say look. How being stupid has cost me my life, my loved ones and the poor bastard I killed. Just for his ego.

    • Anonymous says:

      A cautionary spokesperson for bad ideas is exactly what many kids need in Cayman. The “don’t be me” mentor they never knew they needed. Scared straight is what they called it in my day. A pack of smokes and an extra scoop of rice and beans.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Imagine being younger than the number of years you’re sentenced to! Your lifetime up to now again, plus some more!

    Idiots won’t take heed, but they really should.

    This is several lives ruined because of stupidity.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Waste of 2 lives. Over what? Because he felt disrespected?

    It just makes no sense. So foolish and tragic.

    I’m sure he regrets his decision but it’s far too late for that. He’ll have 24 years to think on it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    24 years is not life. He should hang like all killers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let him pay his debt back to humanity. Even if it stops just one other fool doing the same thing.

      Nothing can change the past. Nothing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Death penalty is a deterrent to stop the next victim.

        • Anonymous says:

          Threat of the death penalty would not have stopped Jashawn doing what he did. The death penalty is judicial revenge, revered by “born again” so-called Christians. That is all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try go back to your communist shithole with that mentality.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Stay your no good rump in Northward till you 45 big man.

    Big man now

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