Mother reveals anguish after father murdered son

| 25/11/2022 | 9 Comments
Roger Bush arrives at court escorted by the RCIPS Firearms Unitmin

(CNS): The court heard emotional testimony on Wednesday directly from the mother of Shaquille Demario Bush (24) who was gunned down and killed in a hail of bullets by his own father in their West Bay family yard in November 2019. Janet Ebanks said that Shaquille’s father, Roger Deward Bush, was not present at his son’s birth to see him draw his first breath, but it “eats me up” that he stood over him as he drew his last. Speaking through a victim impact statement at Bush’s sentencing hearing, Ebanks said Bush did so much more damage than kill their son in such a “disgusting and violent way”.

Ebanks spoke about how badly her mental and physical health has been impacted by losing her son and the wider impact on the family, including Shaquille’s very young daughter. She said that she is constantly worried for her own safety and other loved ones whenever they leave the house.

Ebanks described being trapped in the wake of the murder in “an endless feeling of intimidation” that had been compounded by how long Bush remained free in the community before he was finally charged. But even now, although Bush is in jail after being convicted, she continually worried about “retribution from his family and gang members”.

The moving statement that detailed the pain of her loss and the fact that it was her son’s own father who had killed him with “savage and intentional violence” over “such pathetic jealousies” was read in full to the court at Ebanks’ request, before the crown and defence attorneys made their submissions to the judge about the time Bush will serve before he is eligible for parole.

Ebanks herself also asked the judge for the maximum sentence to be handed to Bush to prevent him from committing such a heinous crime ever again. She said he was “a cold-hearted man” who had shown no remorse and was “a danger to others”.

Andrew Radcliffe KC, who successfully prosecuted the case on behalf of the crown, said there were at least three main aggravating factors that should elevate the minimum life sentence given to Bush over and above the 30-year tariff set out in the law for murder.

Radcliffe said the first was the use of an illegal ‘gun for hire’ to kill his son. The second was Bush’s actions in enlisting the help of a serving police officer to threaten his girlfriend into silence after her arrest on suspicion of assisting Bush in the murder. That officer, who has since been fired and charged, still cannot be named. But his intimidation of Nikkieta Ebanks initially prevented her from telling police what had happened on the night of the murder and the details of a confession Bush had made, stalling the investigation for more than 18 months.

The third aggravating factor was that Bush was on bail for an assault charge at the time of the murder, Radcliffe said.

While Bush has previous convictions, the crown prosecutor accepted that they were all old and he said the judge had the discretion whether or not to consider his record. The most serious conviction was a conviction for possession of an unlicensed gun in 1993 when he was just 18 years old. The rest of the offences were relatively minor and Bush had no convictions on his record for 12 years.

But just before killing his son he was charged with assault against Nikkieta Ebanks and granted bail. However, Bush was well known to the police as a leading gang member. He had also spent more than a year in jail after he was charged with two other men for the gang-related killing of Alric Peddie in 2010. But all three were acquitted after trial the following year.

Radcliffe said he did not believe there were any extenuating circumstances that would serve to mitigate Bush’s time behind bars

In his defence, Oliver Blunt KC argued that his client still protests his innocence and challenged the prosecution’s assertion that Bush murdered his son in a jealous rage, based on preordained hatred, because he believed Shaquille was the real biological father of his daughter with Nikkieta Ebanks. Blunt argued that while the defence had to accept the court’s verdict, the reason Bush killed his son was, based on the evidence, triggered in a short period of time and was not planned.

He said the crown’s own evidence suggested some other motivation and that he may have been provoked, given the evidence of Candace Ebanks, another witness to whom Bush had confessed that he had killed Shaquille to “teach him a lesson because he just would not listen”.

Blunt implied there were still plenty of other suspects in the frame and the “myth of the paternity” was not the motivation. But he added that the court could not be sure what had happened when Bush had returned home after an afternoon of domestic chores and devolved into a bout of violence. He said the defence was entitled to show the court the crown’s own evidence that could substantiate the idea Bush was provoked into murder, even though he still professes he was not the gunman and he didn’t kill his son.

Following the hearing, Justice Marlene Carter, who presided over the case, said she would deliver her sentencing decision on 8 December.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This guy was convicted weeks ago, the lawyers presumably provided submissions, why do these judges take SO long when they have already had so much time. Put all the parties out of their misery!

    • Anonymous says:

      Due process and fair trial rights include aspects to do with sentencing and, so that the sentence is not overturned on appeal, the judges have to carefully decide issues from all sides to get the right sentence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a squalid immoral barren life many of our people live. Drink, other drugs, sex, violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, more sex, shouting, fighting, more sex, killing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you can get a KC for telling a judge your client was provoked into doing something that he denies doing, then call me the Sunshine Band.


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