(CMR) Roger Davard Bush (47), who was found guilty earlier this year of murdering his son Shaquille Bush (24) in 2019, must serve 33 years in prison before he is eligible for release, three more years than the basic statutory tariff. He was also sentenced to 10 years for possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Shaquille Bush was gunned down on the evening of Wednesday, 12 November 2019, on Daisy Lane in West Bay. Roger Bush, who had several altercations with his son, was arrested for the murder in 2019 but was released shortly after due to a lack of evidence. He was charged in 2021 after the police got new evidence against him.
During the trial, the court heard that Bush fired multiple times as he chased his son around their family home and shot him in the head as he lay injured on the floor. Justice Marlene Carter, who presided over the judge-only trial, described the murder as gruesome while handing down the sentence on Thursday.
Justice Carter also dismissed claims by Bush's attorneys that if Bush was the killer, the evidence suggested he was provoked. Since Bush maintained he did not shoot his son, the judge said he could not claim he was provoked.
In handing down the sentence, the judge also took into consideration that attempts were made to intimidate the witness. During the trial, Nikkieta Ebanks (33), who has a child with the elder Bush, told the court that Bush told her he had killed Shaquille, but she did not give police information initially because an auxiliary police officer visited her as she waited in a cell to talk to detectives.
The officer has since been arrested for perverting the court of justice and is expected to stand trial in the matter next year.
Ebanks said it was Bush's obsession that the child was not his but his son's, which led him to kill his son.
The penalty of life imprisonment is mandatory when an offender is convicted of murder; however, the court will fix a minimum period the offender must serve before being considered for conditional release. The Conditional Release Act (2019 Revision) provides for a minimum of 30 years; however, this may be increased or decreased in exceptional circumstances. In Bush's case, the judge thought it necessary to increase the number of years due to the gruesome nature of the crime.