Murder Trial: Brothers Found Not Guilty

July 6, 2011

[Update July 6th, 6:15pm: Ronniko Burchall and his half-brother Leroy Symons were today found not guilty of all charges. The brothers hugged after the verdict, and some family members cried out in joy.]

Before the verdict came back, the jury has sent a question to the judge, and requested to view video footage and listen to audio that had been played during the trial. Further details to follow]

Update 7:20pm: Mr Symons was lead away in custody due to unrelated matters, and Mr Burchall left in a car after walking out of court a free man

DSC_8427

Update 8:45pm: Statement from Detective Nick Pedro after the verdict:

Update 9:25pm: The father of Leroy Symons, who remains in custody, told ZBM:  “I feel blessed. I really feel for the Minors family, but at the time I can’t help but be happy for both defendants. Ronniko is not my blood son, but I watched him grow up, I helped take care of him in his younger years. Both of them, I feel happy for them.” Mr Symons also said that he thinks its best for his son Leroy to “start over somewhere else.” Leroy Symons is pictured below being lead away after the verdict:

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The murder trial of two brothers who stand accused of murdering Shane Minors is coming to its conclusion in the Supreme Court, and the jury is expected to start deliberating tomorrow [July 6].

The trial of Ronniko Burchall, 22, and his half-brother Leroy Symons, 21, began on June 16th. Both men are accused of being involved in the murder of Shane Minors, who was found dead in the entrance of his home in South Terrace, Friswell’s Hill, Pembroke on December 17, 2009. He had been shot twice and died within minutes.

Mr Burchall [below left] is alleged to be the shooter, while Mr Symons [below right] is alleged to have provided assistance. They are both charged with murder, and Mr Burchall alone is charged with using a firearm.

ronniko burchall—–leroy symons bermuda

Shade Subair, lawyer for Leroy Symons, finished her closing arguments at 12:01pm today. In her arguments she sought to cast strong doubt on the veracity and honesty of the second accused, his half-brother Ronniko Burchall.

Justice Carlyle Greaves began his directions to the jury at 12:04pm and it is likely that he will go on with further directions and summing to about 4:30pm today and completion tomorrrow morning. The eight woman four man jury will most likely begin deliberations sometime Wednesday morning.

At the beginning of the trial, the Prosecutor said that the murder victim was not part of a gang, however his brother Shaki Minors was alleged to be affiliated with 42nd, and it is believed that his why he was targeted. The brothers are said to be affiliated with Parkside. It is alleged that the shooting of Mr Minors was in retaliation for the murder of 22-year-old Gary ‘Fingas’ Cann, which occurred only two days prior in 2009.

Mr Symons participated in police interviews last year during which he told the police his brother killed Mr Minors. He says he told the police as word was out on the streets that Mr Burchall had killed Mr Minors, and that people had pulled a gun on his [Mr Symons] child’s mother due to it, and that his family was at risk over his “foolishness”. He also said that prior to the murder his brother showed him a gun. The jury watched footage from the police interviews during the trial.

Older brother Ronniko Burchall claimed his brother was lying in an attempt to implicate him in the murder. Saying “Ray Charles could see it,” Mr Burchall told the jury his brother was trying to frame him. The brothers mother, 41-year-old Onika Burchall, testified she heard her son Leroy confess to the murder last year.

The brothers deny the charges.

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  1. Organic Bermudian says:

    Tell me this is a typo!!!

    • Black Jesus says:

      Unfortunately more bloodshed will come. I see revenge on the horizon.

  2. Persia Monet says:

    May ‘Shane Minors’ rest in peace!!

  3. Will says:

    how the hell did that happen! family members cried out in joy?! wasn’t it their mother who testified that they committed the murder??? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. George Courtney says:

    “Not guilty” is a legal term that means there wasn’t enough evidence to convict.

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/jul/17/not-guilty-versus-innocent-press-talk-brancaccio/

    • Will says:

      well i guess it is better than innocent..still leaves a thread of hope (Double Jeopardy) that they can re convict them on the same charges

    • two sides says:

      You r right George thats what i was saying in the begining were is the evidence they were making a case on hear say only God and those that done this to that sweet man knows the police needed to do their job better then this would not had happened i feel for his family having to go threw this and not get answers or peace God be with them

  5. doomed says:

    we are doomed

  6. VTMRaynor says:

    Nothing new about this result. He said and he said he didn’t. Couldn’t prove either did it. So another family still suffers @ sensless killing with no concrete end result. Please young black males, can some one find it in themselves to be the first to resist to take up a weapon of any sort. I’m sure you can talk out your differnces no matter what. Yes, I know it doesnt happen like that on the ‘streets’. But try to be different and become a leader of positivity.

    • another sad day says:

      @VTMR .. absolutely ! These guys seems to have figured out that if they do something in ‘pairs’ or more, they know that the jury will be completely baffled when the ‘he said,she said’ thing comes into play.

      Once again a few little thuggies got very , very lucky and like many other horrible cases in out recent past nothing more will come of this.

      I really feel for the Minors family and the rest of Bda as this is becoming a trend. We all know what happened and there’s never any closure or justice.

      And for god’s sake , leave the ‘herb’ comparisons out if it all you others .
      It got old a long time ago.

  7. S Brown says:

    Interesting… I guess we have to accept the decision that was made by a jury of our peers. But based on what was presented in court, I thought someone was going West. If they were innocent well then so be it.. if they were guilty but found innocent then they will have to deal with a higher power.

    My heart goes out to the Minors family, I hope they can get justice.

    • Ross says:

      No forensics, weapon, credible eyewitness = not guilty. As difficult as it is to accept it is the way our judicial system works and it worked today…

      • andre says:

        Better a guilty man go free than an innocent man be found guilty

  8. Shaking the Head says:

    And in other news, another 3 males are handed criminal records for life for the heinous crime of having in their possession a microscopically small amount of natural plant material. When will this madness stop?

    • True dat says:

      so true i am shaking my head right along with you….. Unbelievable :/

  9. Rockfish #2 says:

    So! Who murdered Mr. Minors?

    • Ross says:

      It is clear that there was inconclusive evidence, hence the not guilty verdicts..

  10. O I C says:

    SO WHO DID IT??

    • spoons says:

      errrr….who do you think?!!!??
      I guess no-one needed to say ‘who did it?’ after Rebecca Middleton’s murder…..everyone knew and he is still walking the streets today…

      ….another legal cock-up………

      • Ross says:

        It is the law and like it not there was no concrete evidence presented during the entire trial.

        Believing that someone is guilty and proving it is not always possible as seen in this case. Being real is relative and in this case the facts were not there..

  11. Seriously Irritated says:

    R u reslly serious????????? They both walk??????? I’m not buying the he said, she said crap either . . . our courts have convicted two men of murder previously when they couldn’t figure out which one did it!!!!!!!! Be real, we all know what really happened!!!!!!!!!

    Rest in Peace Shane . . . heads high Minors family!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • VTMRaynor says:

      I am thinkin the same SI…couldn’t prove 100% either so let them both sit behind bars. So does Bermuda law in regards to murder/manslaughter, support a clause that says one either “knownly caused” the death of another or supplied indirectly” some form of weapon?….hmmmm

  12. Can't Believe It!! says:

    Are you serious? How did this happen? Can we not rely on our Justice system? My heart goes out to Shane Minors’ family.

  13. Terry says:

    If the alibi fits…you must aquit.

  14. Fanilyvgirl says:

    Must be something in the air worldwide. Casey Anthony is not guilty too!

  15. stopthis says:

    For this jury to return a not guilty verdict speaks to the soft on crime mentality of our country. And as for these defense lawyers….i don’t understand how they can honestly sleep soundly at night KNOWING that they have helped to allow them to go free?!

    • Ross says:

      The jury is not to blame. Did you even read the case ?

      Hard to believe that after the many guilty verdicts returned by juries of late, you can even hint that there is a soft on crime mentality in Bermuda. I would say quite the opposite – from very aggressive and successful policing to the community providing valuable tips, I think it is safe to say that this country is far from being soft on crime…

    • Free Thinker says:

      Lawyers do there job that they are paid just as the prosecution, the plumber , carpenter the like they are just doing what they went to school for please get a life

  16. CAT says:

    Knew they were getting off! This case was a joke. no concrete evidence

  17. Don't care what he says:

    He did it. No he did it. No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.No he did it.

    Ok not guilty – you can both go.

    Is it any wonder the rest of the world laughs at Bermuda?

    PATHETIC!!

    Almost as pathetic as the Casey baby killer trial.

    • Ross says:

      Actually I think the world would see our justice system, based on this case, as being fair and just..

      No evidence = not guilty ….

  18. jai says:

    niko !!!

  19. do u know says:

    God knows! We will all stand before Him and give an account for our actions.

  20. It is what it is says:

    Mid way through the trial I knew that because of evidence produced (nothing conclusive) that there would be a “not guilty” verdict. The only verdict reached in this modern day Caine and Abel epic is DYSFUNCTION!!!!! with a capital “D” He said, than he said, than mother said, then he said again…and so on so forth..full name for one, pet name for another, one you got along with, the other one full of resentment, one now has relocate to a different part of the world for being publically labelled as an informant..sounds like a movie deal to me…..

  21. Real Talk says:

    A says that B did it, B denies it… Then C (somebody’s mama) comes along and says that A actually did it. In light of no real evidence they both get off.

    Well played…

  22. True dat says:

    its going to be a very Hot and relentless summer….

  23. sssshhhh says:

    they must have had the same jury as casey anthony.

  24. N/A says:

    I hope they are happy, now they can live in fear for the rest of their lives wondering when members of 42nd are are going to get payback for killing Shane. They may be smiling and happy, but that will wear off once they are back in the real world. God never sleeps…

  25. The Truth (One And Only) says:

    How the hell do you get a jury to deliberate a murder trial in less than 24 hours..WTF..In both trials the defense did enough to confuse the jury. Now days it doesn’t take much to confuse a CSI jury. Because common sense is not so common any more..Disgusted!

  26. Truth be Told says:

    The first thing I would say is just because someone is up for a case doesn’t mean they did it.

    But for this case I can see that they were deeply involved in or its some deep dysfunctional things in that family for them to try to pin it on each other.

    I believe the mothers testimony had a lot to do with the outcome as well because she appeared to not only favour on seemingly their lives but she also appeared to lie on the other by claiming she heard him make a statement that the police themselves said they did not see and they were in the closest proximity to him as the were escorting him back to prison.

    The system is also set up to protect the innocent its just sad the sometimes the guilty benefit from because someone lacks in there job and do not put froth a proper case to prove the guilt.

  27. First48 says:

    All you Bermudian people need to realize the Truth!!!!I Its not what you think or know…..its what you can prove in Court..With that said, Not Guilty was the Verdict, so suck it up and deal with it,,,,if it were your children you would be happy to see there innocence…No one in this world his perfect and you all need to look in the mirror before you JUDGE Anyone because your not God and thats his job…. Sorry for the Minors family , police tried and failed….Tommorow is not the end of the world so look for better days,, it will come.

    • Think about it says:

      That’s what you’re saying now until one of these idiots shoots and kills a member of your family. Then you’ll be singing a whole new tune. Have some sympathy for the victims family.

      • Hmm says:

        If a loved one of mine had been shot and murdered, I wouldnt hope simply for SOMEONE to be found guilty, but instead for the RIGHT person to be found guilty and sent to prison. With that being said, if these men are innocent, why would the Minor’s family want them to be found guilty? That would not be justice for Shane Minors, as the real culprits would still be free, with no more thought or work being put into the case and finding the real murderers.

        My prayers go out to the Minor’s family for the disappointment that there has yet to be justice for a senseless death.

      • FridayGirl says:

        Well how would you feel if your child had committed a murder and got off? How would you sleep at night? will you feel safe? How do you know that your child in turn will not kill you in fear that you may one day prick on him? Just like when your kids didn’t follow the rules they got lix or put on punishment same rule applies here. Any death is a sad situation for a family wether its murder or natural causes. Fact is at some point people must face reality and come to terms with what these young man got themselves involved in because they thought it was the “in thing”. All those family members that stood there and cried after he died i bet none of them were crying when he was doing the things that got him in this mess.

  28. True Bermudian says:

    They might have been proven innocent but nothing can wash all that ugly away.

  29. Nothing New says:

    Im Wish I could see the Statistics in comparison to Guilty and Not Guilty Cases in Bermuda. !!!!!

  30. get out of bermy!! says:

    now do u c y i left Bermuda!!! i feel sorry 4 the rest of u stuck on that stupid rock i used 2 call home!!

    • Sad says:

      Violence and unjust is everywhere…

      • Think about it says:

        It’s punished less in Bermuda, and when there is punishment, it is nowhere near just. No way in hell someone should only get 15-20 years for premeditated murder.

    • Ross says:

      Actually I don’t..Where you in danger and are you now living in a place that is safer than those of us obeying the law?

      • BdaPapa says:

        No..they weren’t in direct danger but feel much safer now that they are living in Spanish Harlem, NY!

      • get out of bermy!! says:

        u all r in danger livin in Bermuda.. just ask Mr. minors he was obeying the law u idiot…

  31. Common Sense says:

    Whether we like it or not there was insufficient reliable evidence to prove guilt in this case. However, I strongly suspect that members of the 42nd Street gang might not accept the decision and call it quits. These two men will now spend the rest of their lives (long or short) in fear of that knock on the door, or that shot in the dark. I would not want to be in their shoes.

  32. rightious vigilant says:

    sad case indeed, maybe they need to put the jury on trial cuz the result of this case is bulls***!!!!!! all the call for people to help solve these crimes and in the end the accused walk free….smfh

    • Sad says:

      BOTTOMLINE was NO EVIDENCE TO PROVE EITHER OF THEM COMMITTED THE CRIME…So the jury called it like hey saw it….I sincerely hope they seek help for the OBVIOUS dysfunction between this family as they all seem to be holding on to the past and some form of resentment for whatever reason ….This is a time for the entire family to realise they all have been given a 2nd maybe even 3rd or 4th chance to pull up their socks and do right and let it go ….Lets hope we dont see them in court again or beter yet in the back of the paper due to retaliation…..

      Minors Family I SHALL HOLD YOU DEEP IN MY THOUGHTS IN THIS TIME….I hope you take comfort in the fact that the Real judge is The Almighty Jesus Christ who shall cast the last verdict…

  33. SWEETBLACK says:

    this is crazy. wtf. i must give it to those boys they played the system. point the finger at each other and hope the jury buys it and they did. there is no justice all around for all parties involved. let this be a lesson to all parents who have young boys get in there lives. i just feel very sick about all of this.

  34. SWEETBLACK says:

    n/a you make perfect sense. the realty is that they feel free right now but how do they know the friends of shane may look for revenge. the cycle continues. god never sleeps. one of those boys kkilled shane we may never know but one day maybe not anytime soon the truth will come out. there are no winners in this. just losers

  35. PAS says:

    Family divided or defense strategy?

  36. Panty Raider says:

    Call In CSI, the Law&Order guys, Scooby Doo… somebody… get it solved

  37. God have Mercy! says:

    CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY!!! IF THE POLICE COME BUST UP IN YOUR HOUSE LOOKING FOR DRUGS, YOU MIGHT AS WELL SHOOT THEM AMD KILL THEM SO THAT THEY WONT GET THE DRUGS… IF THEY GET THE DRUGS YOUR GOING TO DO A GOOD 14YEARS PLUS, IF YOU KILL THEM YOUR WALKING FREE!!! SMH ITS ALMOST LIKE YOUR GIVING THEM THE “OKAY” TO GO OUT AND KILL AGAIN!!! I’M SURE THEY’LL PLOT ANOTHER MURDER

    TO THE MINOORS FAMILY, I PRAY FOR PEACE UPON YOU ALL… MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND REMEMBER GOD DONT SLEEP, SO WHOMEVER DID THIS TO SHANE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO THE GOOD LORD ABOVE! RIP SHANE- GONE TOO SOON!

  38. FutureLawyer says:

    Dont blame the jury please…they have to be sure without doubt. this was a he say she say case with no physical evidence. It is upsetting because shane’s family will not have justice for their sons death BUT you have to put things in perspective. I feel the public is never satisfied. Like it or not the ACCUSED have rights as well. There could not be any other result in this case. You do not hear a uproar when people are covicted for less. the law is based on facts not emotions. Stop looking for someone to blame, everyone involved has done the best they can with what they had. Insufficient evidence is to blame.

    • FutureLawyer says:

      They have a right to a fair trial which they recieved and were found not guilt accused doesnt mean guilty thats why they have these long trials.**

    • BdaPapa says:

      I will blame the jury! If these boys kill again and even if they themselves end up dead from a shooting. I guarantee this jury will have blood on their hands by the end of the year!

      • FutureLawyer says:

        NO THEY WON’T….if it was in front of a panel of judges you would have gotten the same result why? Because the evidence was slack it was his word against his this isnt judge judy. You cant just go around convicting people of murder who have been accused if you are not sure they really did it and the evidence didnt help at all. GET OVER IT! They couldnt prove it he had an alibi and they couldnt convict one without the other so its over. THE JURY IS NOT TO BLAME!! I don’t hear all this crying when people are are locked for less evidence. Let it go papa its over take your emotions out of it.

  39. #Yakiddnme! says:

    My prayers go out to the Minors family. I Hope u can find peace in your heart knowing that his memories forever remain in your heart and mind. If god brought u to it he will see you through it. The only judge that matters is the maker above and he will make the final judgement. RIP Shane

    To the brothers God never sleeps and i hope you can live with the pain you have caused family and friends. You may have gotton off this time but when your days here on earth are finished thats when u will face the real judgment!!!!

  40. RIP Uncle Shane says:

    - Alright,s o if these two didn’t kill him. Who the hell did.?!
    The court system in Bda is such Bull,it is unbelievable. All im sayin’ is that they need to find out who done this to my uncle. Its not fair that the families of the murder victims get their hopes up that they found out who did it. & then they walk free..

    Uncle Shane; Rest In Peace
    Watch over me & shuntyy…

  41. MinorMatters says:

    To be clear: To be declared Not Guilty is NOT the same as being INNOCENT.

    • Terry says:

      In a Court of Law it is. Whats your point.

  42. ℮4Ẽχußзŕąήce™ says:

    This is just ridiculous! Both the brothers continually pointed the finger at each other during this trial, and i am pretty certain they know exactly what happened. Almost seemed like they were against each other, and when they are found not guilty they embraced each other. They made a laughing stcok out of the judicial system. Burchall even stated that the courts were, “dealing with a man with a lot of tricks up his sleeve.”

    Well, he sure tricked them.

  43. No Respect says:

    Well just goes to show only in Bermuda can you kill someone and get away with it!!! Good grief, I feel so terrible for the boys parents who died, they will never have peace in their lives again.

  44. Stop Pointing ya Fingers says:

    Didn’t one of them admit to giving the other a gun and showed him how to use it? This sort of thing needs to be taken into consideration when going up to trial. The defendants must provide the gun, in other words they should be forced to go and get this alleged gun they spoke of in the begining. And it should be presented before the courts as evidence A. The law seriously needs to be rewritten from the ground up!

    • Terry says:

      Maybe they did but thats ‘heresay’………

      • Stop Pointing ya Fingers says:

        True dat, but don’t u think its an avenue worth exploring?

      • Seriously Irritated says:

        It’s not here say when a suspect/defendant admits himself to handling a gun, not once but twice – first to show his brother how to use it and then to hide it after the murder!!!!!!!! So explain as to why he wasn’t charged with handling a gun, which I believe is still illegal; and then being an accessory to a murder since he admitted being asked to hide the gun!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on . . . please!!!!!!!!!!!

        • FutureLawyer says:

          you need the gun in their possession to be charged. do you not understand what hear say means its what this whole case was based on the word of one brother with no proof. because it could be all based on a lie. NO EVIDENCE plus he had 2 alibi’s to back up his story and all the prosecution had was the word of a convict and an addict. and you cant convict one without the other they go hand in hand because who was he an accessory to who did he help if they felt that the brother didnt do it. Take the emotion out of it.

  45. Terry says:

    Well maybe the fact that so many of us were distracted for weeks from the worlds pressing issues like Wars, Health, the economy whilst we watched a circus.

    I did steal a few words from others and if you want the source, just ask.

    Furunt Fata Quo…………………………..

    • Seriously Irritated says:

      I’m so glad that you think that the murder of someone’s son and someone’s father is less important than world affairs . . . you say the most insensitive sh**!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Doctor Zayus. says:

    Planet of the Apes

    “It was earth after all!”

  47. Jason says:

    Congrats my brothers!

  48. FridayGirl says:

    How about neither one of them did it. What if it was all a set-up? How do we know that they weren’t paid to take the fault and had the whole thing planned so that no one takes the blame so the real murder walks free? Like they said they had no real evidence sounds kinda fishy taking where the murder happened and who they say was involved. Common sense goes a long way if you use it.