Robbery suspect blames weed for arrest

| 10/08/2016 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dan Kelly

(CNS): Giving evidence Wednesday, Dan Kelly denied robbing a grocery store in West Bay almost six years ago and pointed to weed as the reason why he became wrapped up in the case. Kelly is charged with a daylight armed robbery at the Caribbean Bakery on Mount Pleasant Road in September 2010 with another man, but he has denied having anything to do with the crime and claims that he walked into the robbery charge because he was trying to dodge an arrest for drug possession.

Kelly told the court that when the police arrested him as he emerged from bushes, barefoot, wearing just shorts and a marina on the rainy day of the robbery with a man who has since been convicted of the crime, he was behaving suspiciously because he had been trying to hide almost a half-pound of weed in the bush to avoid its forfeiture and a drug charge.

As he gave evidence in defence of the charges, Kelly said he was not involved in the robbery and barely knew anything about the crime until he was arrested for it. Throughout his evidence Kelly insisted that he had no need to rob the store as he was earning a good salary and tips working on his uncle’s boat with cruise visitors.

Kelly claimed that on the morning of the crime he had used his mother’s car to run errands. When he returned home, he had changed out of his street clothes into shorts and a marina and soon after set off walking barefoot for some fifteen minutes along the road to a friend’s house in an area of West Bay known as Jackson Square to retrieve weed that he had left there the night before, he said.

He said that while he was at his friend Daniel Stewart’s yard collecting the weed, he heard about the bakery being robbed and saw the police helicopter. He also stated that at some point when he was visiting Stewart, Derek Simpson, who was later to plead guilty to the robbery, also arrived there.

Shortly afterwards, he and Simpson left Jackson Square both heading towards Kelly’s own house, but because of the police presence and the fact that he was carrying so much weed, he said, they took a shortcut through cow pasture and then into the bushes, where he hid the weed when it was apparent the police were nearby. When he was arrested, Kelly denied having anything to do with the robbery and claimed to have been smoking a draw of weed in the fields.

“The only reason I got caught up in all of this was because of the draw of weed,” Kelly told the court, explaining that at the time he did not want to throw the drugs away or get caught with them.

“I tried to run from one charge and got caught with another,” he said, as he protested his innocence and pointed to his heavy use of ganja at the time. “I did not rob that bakery and I had no knowledge about it until I was arrested for it,” he added, insisting that he had nothing to do with the crime.

Kelly also denied disposing or helping anyone dispose of the clothes worn by the robbers or the modified flare-gun used to threaten the sales clerk during the stick-up, which were found by the police in the field that Kelly and Simpson had passed through.

However, Kelly’s DNA was found on some of the clothing that the clerk said the robbers were wearing and was visible on the CCTV footage. It was found in a black garbage bag shortly after the robbery and following the arrest of both Kelly and Simpson.

Kelly said that a hoody he was shown by police was not his but he had worn it a few weeks before. He said it belonged to a local man he knew, who, the court heard, had mental health problems. Kelly said it was hanging on a fence post when he was with friends at Batabano Plaza and he had put it on but he had left it at the location the same night.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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