Golden gun robbers wait for sentence decision

| 22/10/2015 | 9 Comments
Cayman News Service

Scene of the armed robbery at Blackbeard Liquor Store, 23 April 2015

(CNS): Four men convicted of an armed robbery at Blackbeard’s Liquor Store last December, in which a gold spray-painted pump action shotgun was used, appeared in court Thursday morning for a sentencing hearing. Andrew Lopes, Bron Webb and Randy Connor are all facing at least ten years behind bars after they were found guilty by a jury in August but Devon Wright, who pleaded guilty in April, is facing a minimum of seven years behind bars.

Acting Justice Francis Belle, who presided over the trial, heard submissions from prosecutors and defence attorneys via video link and is expected to deliver his decision next week.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards QC, who prosecuted the crown’s case, read from victim impact reports from the staff and customers who were in the store at the time of the armed hold-up. The court heard that two of the victims were still struggling to come to terms with what happened to them. One of the witnesses, who had recognized and identified one of the robbers, revealed that she had felt physically ill when she came to court to testify because she was so frightened about giving evidence against Devon Wright.

The court also heard from social enquiry reports that none of the men had shown remorse for their crimes.

Andrew Lopez was the getaway driver in the armed heist, in which he used his mother’s car and drove back to his home with the loot from the liquor store hold-up and hid the golden shotgun in an attic above his room. The court heard, however, that the 22-year-old father of a baby born since his arrest had, with the exception of one conviction for ganja, no previous convictions. The court heard that Bron Webb, the robber who grabbed the $5,000 in cash and possessions stolen from the store at Grand Harbour and the customers that evening, also had just one ganja conviction.

Meanwhile, Randy Connor, who was believed to be the man carrying the golden gun, had a string of some 13 convictions that included weapons as well as harassment and ganja offences. Devon Wright, who was also armed with a handgun, also had a long rap sheet, with nine burglary convictions and for ganja possession.

As Richards set out sentencing guidelines and previous authorities, she pointed to the risk of reoffending identified in the social enquiry reports as well as the lack of remorse from the robbers.

The judge is bound by the minimum mandatory sentences for firearms possession, which is ten years after trial and seven for a guilty plea.  It will be up to the judge to decide if there are aggravating circumstances to increase the statutory sentences, as very little was offered in mitigation by the men’s attorneys. At best, the lawyers were able to point out that the armed heist was far from sophisticated or well-planned, and the men were all caught within minutes of the robbery. The robbery was relatively low value and the money was recovered. However, the court also heard that the men had not just gone armed with two firearms, a handgun as well as the pump-action shotgun, at least one was loaded.

Although the lawyers said that the men would be required to serve the entire statutory minimum jail time, which was a significant period, the prison director confirmed that all inmates serving mandatory minimums can still get a remission and be released after serving two-thirds of the sentence based on good behavior.

The sentencing decision is expected later this month.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (9)

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  1. GG says:

    Amen. CayGuy and Scaramanga, I could not have said it better myself!! It is long past due…The entire community needs to unite to stamp out criminal behavior (of all nature, shape and form) in our Islands.

    Sadness, anger and frustration mount with more crime reports, yet there are those who would rather pussyfoot around and make excuses for and show leniency towards these individuals who repeatedly show no regard to the Laws and our community. After all, “none of the men had shown remorse for their crimes.”
    Absolutely, @ 7:00am, if they can do the crime, they can certainly do the time! We need to stop babysitting these criminals (with or without prior convictions); clearly this was premeditated (and most crimes are), whether or not it was sophisticated or well-planned.

    These criminals need to MAN/WOMAN up or Behave!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Deportation order?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Social inquiry reports” = scam by bleeding heart liberals to try and blame “society” for criminality and reduce sentences below what they should be. Very effective for women trying to dodge real sentences. These reports are a waste of money and should be stopped.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key. Looks like one of them spat on the officer while entering the Court.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Breathtaking stupidity. The only surprise is that the convictions were recorded, normally the cops and CPS mess something up and miss a slam dunk!

  6. Anonymous says:

    gang culture should be outlawed……

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    I am BOND!!!
    James Bond…

  8. CayGuy says:

    Youths, make these 4 be a lesson to you. Stay in school! That goes all the way through college and become a productive citizen of society. Idle hands certainly is the devil workshop. These dudes have now mashed up much of their future prospects.

  9. Scaramanga says:

    A strong message needs to be sent by the judge in this case. We must take back our country before these violent miscreants ruin it forever.

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