Categorized | Crime, Featured, Local, News

Evans ‘Not guilty’ of murder

after third trial following two successful appeals, jury acquits

Brades, Montserrat – After three murder trials and two successful appeals, leading to the third trial, Jamaican Orin Evans was found “Not Guilty” of Murder and Manslaughter of young Guyanese businessman Aubrey Barry in Montserrat, when a mixed jury handed down a verdict at about on Thursday night.

The nine-member jury was unanimous in their verdict.  The now 24-year-old Evans was convicted of murder twice before (2014 and 2015) in trials presided by since fully retired Justice Redhead.

​Nonetheless, on both occasions the convictions were quashed and the over 30 year sentences set aside.

The charges stemmed from an altercation with Guyanese businessman Aubrey Barry that ended in the death of Barry.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house (he rented from Barry) in the dark, uninvited and he was forced to defend himself. 

Evans at 19

On October 12, 2012, The Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) Commissioner of Police Steve Foster informed the press that19-year-old male Orin Francois Redwood-Evans had been remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison after being arrested and formally charged with the killing of Barry, which took place sometime between late Wednesday and early Thursday morning, October 4, 2012. He informed that Barry died enroute to hospital in Barbados, where he was medevacked after he sustained head injuries in Manjack here in Montserrat.” (See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/19-year-old-charged-with-murder-of-aubrey-barry/ )

A post mortem of Barry, originally from Guyana, was conducted in Barbados with one local forensic officer in attendance. The results are being reviewed, the top police official said.

Just one month over a year later in November 2013, the trial was presided over by Justice Albert Redhead, regarding the incident which took place late on October 3, 2012 and into the morning. Evans gave an unsworn statement in which he admitted to injuing Barry, but claimed it was in self-defense. Evans claimed his actions took place when, after having reported to the police on a previous occasion he had chased an intruder who had broken into his apartment at the same location in Manjack. Reportedly Evans claimed fighting off the ‘intruder’, he used a piece of two by four wood he had that he kept it in his room for protection until the door lock could be changed.

The Case against Orin Evans attracted much attention as it was the second murder within a short space of time in Montserrat which hardly sees a crime of that nature.

At that trial the jury comprising of eight (8) females and one (1) male returned the verdict after a mere two-hour deliberation after hearing evidence under the presidency of Judge Albert Redhead. Senior Crown Counsel and his assistant Kristen Taylor for the Public Prosecution office prosecuted the trial while experienced and senior attorney-at-law David S. Brandt defended Evans. (See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/evans-guilty-of-murdering-aubrey-barry/ )

Attorney Brandt appealed the conviction and was successful a year later. On Tuesday November 25, 2014, Evans, breathing only a sigh of relief when the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal quashed his murder conviction and set aside his 35-year sentence, but ordered a retrial.

The Attorney had appealed on several grounds including that the “learned Trial Judge misdirected the jury in that he failed to tell them that since the issue of self defence was raised, the burden of negating it rested on the prosecution and His Lordship failed to follow the guidelines set out in R v. Abraham 57 Cr. App. R. 799.

On his retrial in 2015, he was again found guilty by a new jury and he appealed for a second time on five grounds. Brandt earlier this year was again successful before the ECCA Court who again quashed the conviction, ordered another retrial, which trial just ended before the new judge, Justice Iain Morley QC, assigned to Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat.

This then, was Evan’s third trial and it lasted nearly three weeks with a mixed jury of six females and three males on duty.

On Tuesday November 25, 2014 only breathed a sigh of relief when the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal quashed his murder conviction and set aside his 35-year sentence, but ordered a retrial.

Orin Evans was convicted a year ago in November after he was found guilty by a nine-member jury after trial before His Lordship Justice Redhead and sentenced to 35 years which he had been serving at Her Majesty’s Prison in Brades.

Evans had said that it was an altercation with businessman Aubrey Barry ended that brought about Barry’s death.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house uninvited and he was forced to defend himself.

Orin Evans was convicted a year ago, in November after he was found guilty by a nine-member jury after trial before His Lordship Justice Redhead and sentenced to 35 years which he had been serving at Her Majesty’s Prison in Brades.

Evans had said that it was an altercation with businessman Aubrey Barry ended that brought about Barry’s death.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house uninvited and he was forced to defend himself.

Attorney-at-law for the Appellant David Brandt, appealed on several grounds including that the “learned Trial Judge misdirected the jury in that he failed to tell them that since the issue of self defence was raised, the burden of negating it rested on the prosecution and His Lordship failed to follow the guidelines set out in R v. Abraham 57 Cr. App. R. 799.
In speaking to WestIndianLawyers.com, Attorney-at-law for Evans, David Brandt said “It was a hard fought case, but on the evidence that was presented in the court, the prosecution did not make the jury feel sure that the Defendant was guilty of the offence.  In my view the jury came to the correct decision.”  

Defense lawyer Brandt said that the prosecution was required to prove their case to make the jury feel, i.e. beyond reasonable doubt, and they were not able to do so, following the judge’s directions, that they must not listen to anything outside of the court, but base their decision on what they heard in the court during the trial.
 
Director of Public Prosection Oris Sullivan and Senior Crown Counsel Kenroy Hyman represented the Crown and concurred with the defense that the case was “hard fought.” He also repeated his comments at the end of the previous trials when Evans was convicted saying that the Jury had the final say and that is the system that prevails in Montserrat. In a final comment the DPP said, the jury’s decision was final and called for healing within the community. “That is our jury system…works and we won’t always have it our way and if that is the way the jury sees it, that is the way we must accept it.”

He continued in a ZJB report: “Of course it was a hard fought battle, it went over fourteen days almost three weeks in which the crown did its best. In fact this trial, this third trial, I think we did a lot more work on presenting an even tighter case, but the jury did not see it our way, such is the judicial system, you win some you lose some. The issue is not about the law, the issue is about justice being done.

Sullivan explained, “Our system of justice says that the man should be tried by a jury of his peers. He was tried by a jury of his peers and the jury has made their decision.

Commenting on the effort of prosecution and defence, “Both sides worked very very hard. You will understand when a man is charged with murder, to defend him is quite a lot of work…” Then a word to the victim’s family: “ but as far as the family is concerned my words to them would be to try and heal, because once the system has spoken there is no other recourse, so try as best as possible to heal and move on.”
WestIndianLawyers.com reportedly spoke to an elated Orin Evans and said, “he was at loss for words, but was thankful to God for this victory and to his family for their unwavering support.

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after third trial following two successful appeals, jury acquits

Brades, Montserrat – After three murder trials and two successful appeals, leading to the third trial, Jamaican Orin Evans was found “Not Guilty” of Murder and Manslaughter of young Guyanese businessman Aubrey Barry in Montserrat, when a mixed jury handed down a verdict at about on Thursday night.

The nine-member jury was unanimous in their verdict.  The now 24-year-old Evans was convicted of murder twice before (2014 and 2015) in trials presided by since fully retired Justice Redhead.

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​Nonetheless, on both occasions the convictions were quashed and the over 30 year sentences set aside.

The charges stemmed from an altercation with Guyanese businessman Aubrey Barry that ended in the death of Barry.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house (he rented from Barry) in the dark, uninvited and he was forced to defend himself. 

Evans at 19

On October 12, 2012, The Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) Commissioner of Police Steve Foster informed the press that19-year-old male Orin Francois Redwood-Evans had been remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison after being arrested and formally charged with the killing of Barry, which took place sometime between late Wednesday and early Thursday morning, October 4, 2012. He informed that Barry died enroute to hospital in Barbados, where he was medevacked after he sustained head injuries in Manjack here in Montserrat.” (See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/19-year-old-charged-with-murder-of-aubrey-barry/ )

A post mortem of Barry, originally from Guyana, was conducted in Barbados with one local forensic officer in attendance. The results are being reviewed, the top police official said.

Just one month over a year later in November 2013, the trial was presided over by Justice Albert Redhead, regarding the incident which took place late on October 3, 2012 and into the morning. Evans gave an unsworn statement in which he admitted to injuing Barry, but claimed it was in self-defense. Evans claimed his actions took place when, after having reported to the police on a previous occasion he had chased an intruder who had broken into his apartment at the same location in Manjack. Reportedly Evans claimed fighting off the ‘intruder’, he used a piece of two by four wood he had that he kept it in his room for protection until the door lock could be changed.

The Case against Orin Evans attracted much attention as it was the second murder within a short space of time in Montserrat which hardly sees a crime of that nature.

At that trial the jury comprising of eight (8) females and one (1) male returned the verdict after a mere two-hour deliberation after hearing evidence under the presidency of Judge Albert Redhead. Senior Crown Counsel and his assistant Kristen Taylor for the Public Prosecution office prosecuted the trial while experienced and senior attorney-at-law David S. Brandt defended Evans. (See: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/evans-guilty-of-murdering-aubrey-barry/ )

Attorney Brandt appealed the conviction and was successful a year later. On Tuesday November 25, 2014, Evans, breathing only a sigh of relief when the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal quashed his murder conviction and set aside his 35-year sentence, but ordered a retrial.

The Attorney had appealed on several grounds including that the “learned Trial Judge misdirected the jury in that he failed to tell them that since the issue of self defence was raised, the burden of negating it rested on the prosecution and His Lordship failed to follow the guidelines set out in R v. Abraham 57 Cr. App. R. 799.

On his retrial in 2015, he was again found guilty by a new jury and he appealed for a second time on five grounds. Brandt earlier this year was again successful before the ECCA Court who again quashed the conviction, ordered another retrial, which trial just ended before the new judge, Justice Iain Morley QC, assigned to Antigua and Barbuda, and Montserrat.

This then, was Evan’s third trial and it lasted nearly three weeks with a mixed jury of six females and three males on duty.

On Tuesday November 25, 2014 only breathed a sigh of relief when the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal quashed his murder conviction and set aside his 35-year sentence, but ordered a retrial.

Orin Evans was convicted a year ago in November after he was found guilty by a nine-member jury after trial before His Lordship Justice Redhead and sentenced to 35 years which he had been serving at Her Majesty’s Prison in Brades.

Evans had said that it was an altercation with businessman Aubrey Barry ended that brought about Barry’s death.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house uninvited and he was forced to defend himself.

Orin Evans was convicted a year ago, in November after he was found guilty by a nine-member jury after trial before His Lordship Justice Redhead and sentenced to 35 years which he had been serving at Her Majesty’s Prison in Brades.

Evans had said that it was an altercation with businessman Aubrey Barry ended that brought about Barry’s death.  According to Evans, Barry entered his house uninvited and he was forced to defend himself.

Attorney-at-law for the Appellant David Brandt, appealed on several grounds including that the “learned Trial Judge misdirected the jury in that he failed to tell them that since the issue of self defence was raised, the burden of negating it rested on the prosecution and His Lordship failed to follow the guidelines set out in R v. Abraham 57 Cr. App. R. 799.
In speaking to WestIndianLawyers.com, Attorney-at-law for Evans, David Brandt said “It was a hard fought case, but on the evidence that was presented in the court, the prosecution did not make the jury feel sure that the Defendant was guilty of the offence.  In my view the jury came to the correct decision.”  

Defense lawyer Brandt said that the prosecution was required to prove their case to make the jury feel, i.e. beyond reasonable doubt, and they were not able to do so, following the judge’s directions, that they must not listen to anything outside of the court, but base their decision on what they heard in the court during the trial.
 
Director of Public Prosection Oris Sullivan and Senior Crown Counsel Kenroy Hyman represented the Crown and concurred with the defense that the case was “hard fought.” He also repeated his comments at the end of the previous trials when Evans was convicted saying that the Jury had the final say and that is the system that prevails in Montserrat. In a final comment the DPP said, the jury’s decision was final and called for healing within the community. “That is our jury system…works and we won’t always have it our way and if that is the way the jury sees it, that is the way we must accept it.”

He continued in a ZJB report: “Of course it was a hard fought battle, it went over fourteen days almost three weeks in which the crown did its best. In fact this trial, this third trial, I think we did a lot more work on presenting an even tighter case, but the jury did not see it our way, such is the judicial system, you win some you lose some. The issue is not about the law, the issue is about justice being done.

Sullivan explained, “Our system of justice says that the man should be tried by a jury of his peers. He was tried by a jury of his peers and the jury has made their decision.

Commenting on the effort of prosecution and defence, “Both sides worked very very hard. You will understand when a man is charged with murder, to defend him is quite a lot of work…” Then a word to the victim’s family: “ but as far as the family is concerned my words to them would be to try and heal, because once the system has spoken there is no other recourse, so try as best as possible to heal and move on.”
WestIndianLawyers.com reportedly spoke to an elated Orin Evans and said, “he was at loss for words, but was thankful to God for this victory and to his family for their unwavering support.