Auto-mechanic found guilty over unlawful gun

| 26/07/2017 | 121 Comments
Cayman News Service

Michael Jefferson

(CNS): A jury has found local auto-mechanic, Michael Fernandez Jefferson (24), guilty of possessing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, in connection with a gun found at his house under a bed. Jefferson has no criminal record, no known gang associations and the gun had not been used in a crime, nor was it in full working order when it was seized by police. Nevertheless, he now faces a ten year mandatory minimum jail term. 

The jury arrived at the verdict just before noon on Wednesday after beginning their deliberations the previous day at around 11am. During the trial the court heard that police, acting on information, had secured a search warrant for Jefferson’s home, where he lived with his mother and girlfriend. When police began their search they found a .38 automatic pistol under a bed wrapped in tissue in a ziplock bag, along with two live cartridges.

After police seized the weapon it was tested by experts, who found that it would not work because the firing pin had been sawn off. But they concluded that the gun would work if the pin was replaced. The crown had presented the jury with the alternative of finding Jefferson guilty of possessing the component parts of a gun, but prosecuting attorney Nicole Petite had argued during the case that it was a lethal weapon capable of being fired if the pin was replaced and consequently it fitted the legal definition of a firearm.

Jefferson denied any knowledge of the gun, saying the room where it was found was not where he and his girlfriend stayed. There were no prints or DNA found on the gun linking it to Jefferson.

The police witnesses claimed that Jefferson had indicated the room where the gun was found was his. An officer also testified that while he was holding Jefferson outside the house, following his arrest, the young man had confessed to owning the gun because “his past was catching up with him”, a comment Jefferson denied.

During cross-examination the officer admitted that he had not made a note of the alleged confession. When Jefferson gave evidence he insisted he knew nothing about the weapon and that the house was an open place with various people, including family members, coming and going.

Following his conviction, Jefferson, who was working as a supervisor at an auto shop and who has no criminal record, was remanded in custody. The judge ordered a social inquiry report and set the sentencing hearing for 31 August. Jefferson is now facing the mandatory minimum sentence of ten years unless his defence attorney, Laurence Aiolfi, can successfully argue exceptional circumstances.

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Comments (121)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Antonio Kelly faces two separate charges. Check it out.

  2. Not Guilty says:

    Repost:
    I am sure the defense attorney is rubbing his hands at the obvious grounds for appeal: this was not a ‘lethal barrelled weapon’ as defined in the Law thus he should have been found not guilty.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    From the number of posters supporting Jefferson here, he must have somebody praying for him. lol. And of course, once you take down all of the pictures that showed him actually holding guns, it is unreasonable for anyone to believe that he is the type of person that would hide a gun under his bed.

    Do they really believe that police wouldn’t have copies of those pictures that have since been taken down?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, have you heard about our police force?

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    • Anonymous says:

      You believe everything you read in the media na true? What does him posting pics of a gun on social media have to do with the case in question? And yes plenty people are praying for him you need ask somebody to pray for you and your children so that you never make a mistake in your life and be judged by that mistake for the rest of your life. Instead of watching people facebook page to know whether a picture was posted or taken down you should find something more constructive to do in your spare time #howboutthat

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      • Anonymous says:

        @ 1:42am.

        Your ignorance is amusing….

        If anyone posts pics up on social media holding any type of unlicensed fire-arm, at anytime…..with or without intent to use the said weapon; it still DOES NOT change the fact that you were at that time IN POSSESSION of an unlicensed fire-arm.

        Do you understand this? Do you comprehend the words typed above? So even if the gun is not his, he is holding it; laying his claim.

        You just can’t make this stuff up man. Instead of praying for your kids, try teaching them some responsibility, try teaching them that there are consequences for their actions….

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  4. Anonymous says:

    These criminals trying to play innocent and forget they post gun pictures on social media. smh fools

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  5. Anonymous says:

    So many complaints on here but the guys has a public photo on facebook of a hand holding a gun…..

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    • Anonymous says:

      And your point?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Point is the guy likes guns. That is all.

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        • Fred says:

          If the pictures show him holding guns when he doesn’t have a firearms licence the point is a little more obvious. If the pictures are just of guns without him in the picture then fair enough.

      • Anonymous says:

        Point? Lol. Picture on Facebook holding a gun demonstrates an uncultured, low-life, degraded character. Any more questions?

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        • Ex Con says:

          Take note kids! Real gangster don’t post gun pictures on social media, it just gives them an excuse to profile you. So if you want to be a gangster you can’t have a 9 to 5. You either street or you about your business you can’t do both…….. Cayman to small everybody knows everybody

  6. Case of Holes says:

    The case has big HOLES in it. If this young man is going to be charged, then everybody that lives in that house should have been found guilty. No DNA, NO PRINTS nothing that links this young man to the gun. Police man confused with his report. Very cruel.

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Apart from the fact that it was under his bed (according to what the police say he told them) and he told the officer holding him that it was his. The fact that the policeman didn’t write it down at the time doesn’t make it inadmissible as evidence. It comes down to whether the jury believed him or the police, and they obviously went with the police.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time. Jail is exactly where he belongs. This guy has broken into half of the homes in Prospect and Savannah and stolen from everyone. The amount of grief you have caused so many people will finally come back to you. You deserve nothing less than 10 year. Every police officer knows exactly who this loser is. They laugh and say oh yeah, him….he’s the one who will steal everything but your kitchen sink. Karma is a bitch Jefferson – you will finally be paying your dues. What comes around goes around…

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  8. Anonymous says:

    they want to be bad man in the streets and keeping the kind of company that wants to be known as bad people then when caught up there ready to knock off the church’s door because of the jail sentence there facing. nobody put a gun and bullets down in the same place to come back for nor need them both together to sink him and only a fool would have a illegal gun and leave marks on it at anytime there has always been cleaning solutions and #somethingcalledgloves want to live that American dream go ahead live it up now

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Now let’s hope the authorities are as firm with the Yanks that keep being caught with guns.

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    • Anonymous says:

      One gun and many bullets accidentally forgotten in bags….not quite the same.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not in my eyes. Possession of a gun if posession of a gun. Indeed importation makes it worse. No-one accidentally leaves a gun in a bag.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Hold on…

    Antonio Kelly gets 12 years for committing 2 different crimes, years apart (1 involved murdering someone while carelessly trying to roll a spliff at 85mph and the other for a robbery), but Michael may get 10 years for this?

    What the hell…

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    • Anonymous says:

      So it goes bro! The law and sentencing here are all over the place, is more like a spin the wheel game, which ever number it falls is what u get.

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    • Fred. says:

      Kelley actually got 12 years for carrying a firearm in a robbery, reduced to 8 for pleading guilty. This chaps gets 10 for possession, but with no reduction for pleading guilty – cause he didn’t. The death by dangerous driving case was tried separately, sentenced separately and has no relevance in comparing the two cases.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The sentencing is off for Mr. Kelly, not for your friend Michael. Kelly should have been given a lot longer. 10 year minimum for possession of a lethal weapon and ammo is reasonable.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is s minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment for being caught with an unlicensed fire-arm.

      You didn’t know?

      Well, now you do.

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  11. Weak Case says:

    I do not know this young man. But it is clear that the police was eager to bring a gun-related case forward with weak evidence. This Officer should have been put on the Stand and cross-examined. Furthermore, this young man has none of the following.
    Nothing linking him to this gun…
    – No criminal record…
    – No gang affiliation
    – A non-existent (technically) confession…
    – No reason to think he may need to use this gun…
    – The gun doesn’t even work
    – No DNA

    Based on the above how can you find him guilty? From reading the posts, this young man is turning around his life and you people with poor evidence has send him to jail for 10 years? So many of us, have allowed Cain and Able family members and friends into our homes thinking that they are with us. Only to find out later that they either rape our kids, rob us or plant drugs and guns to set us up. This case only tells me that I cannot drive my convertible car anymore as the Top does not work. My neighbour who smiles with me can place drugs or a gun in there and then call the police. The police finds nothing that links me to the items found in my car that I cannot lock up and I am innocently sent away for 10 years. This case has a lot of HOLES in it. Please free the young man.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He was found guilty by a jury. To be on the jury you must be a registered voter. To be a voter you must be caymanian.
      There’s seems to have been enough evidence to convince them. Perhaps you should have sat in court to hear all the evidence instead of second guessing the verdict.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Lol having no criminal record doesnt mean anything, he just didnt get caught. Police say they recieved information that he had a firearm, which means an officer didnt have a dream and say michael jefferson has a gun.. someone who knows him knows he has one. They executed a search warrant and one was retrieved. Simple… You would be suprised how many “Persons of good character” have illegal weapons.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To “weak case”:

      You contradict yourself. First you start out my telling us that there is no evidence to suggest he would have an unlicensed gun, i.e. no gang affiliation, no DNA etc….

      Then you go on to say “this young man is turning around his life”…

      So if one is turning their life around, that would mean you were once in a bad place. No?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Those eyebrows and that goatee are a crime in and of themselves.

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  13. RealTalk says:

    I really want to see how this is gonna play out, especially in comparison to the recent sentencings and I REALLY want to see how things play out with the foreigner with the guns and over 200 rounds of ammo!!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    he caymamian…he ga go jail …so govt can make more revenue off the work permit that will be paid once he is replaced? ?? ok understood

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I hope the social inquiry report that the judge has ordered will reveal how he is listed as having “no criminal record”.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I personally has known him over 20 years, childhood friends.

    Yes, he might have had his past of getting into trouble at his early teen age, but I personally can say he is a changed person.

    He has done a U-turn, got a job, a wife,kids and has settle himself.

    For the police/court now to judge a man that has never been convicted in his life is a major issue.

    He has been set up by a friend/family member.

    Once someone see you doing good progressing, living life the right away there is always that peek that someone dosen’t like the way life is being lived.

    I hope Jefferson the best in this trial and hope he is a free man & the person that have done this their mind eats them when they go to sleep.

    #FreeJefferson

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    • Anonymous says:

      “I hope Jefferson the best in this trial” – It was pretty much the worst outcome for Jefferson… not sure if you read the article or even the title.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If that is the truth unfortunately he still let those friends and family members into the house so he is still responsible for keeping those people as friends and letting this happen. He seems he has not tried to identify someone else as the gun owner. Also, the police went there based on a tip which makes me think he showed the gun to someone and that is how they knew it was there.

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      • Anonymous says:

        For someone that has NO FACTS about the case you seem to know a lot! First of all it was not his house so he had NO control over who came and left the house. He was escorted from his job by the police to the house in which a young man was seen running out the front door, jumped on a bicycle and rode down the road. ANYBODY COULD HAVE PUT THE GUN THERE!! He had no control over who entered and left the house and obvioulsy the police either if they could not or should I say chose not to apprehend the young man seen leaving the premises! PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY YOU READ IN THESE NEWS REPORTS!! The media’s objective is to make him seem like some monster.

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      • Anonymous says:

        or the person who put it there made the tip? its all suspicious but its always the ones close to you who try to screw you over i doubts its a stranger who made the tip

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s amazing how many people take a U-turn after getting caught.

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  17. Shanobi says:

    Nothing innocent about him…”all the behind closed doors think nobody ain’t watching wanna be gangstas going down slowly but surely”…..Those that know him knows what he’s about

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Long story short, it shouldn’t be in his house. If it’s not his, he should of been aware of what’s going on in his house. If he’s not gonna take responsibility, someone who also lives in the house will have to.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    How to smell a set up 101:
    – Nothing linking him to this gun…
    – No criminal record…
    – No gang affiliation
    – A non-existent (technically) confession…
    – No reason to think he may need to use this gun…
    – The gun doesn’t even work…

    But then again maybe he did actually purchase the gun off someone (as a safety precaution or whatever), not knowing that it wouldn’t fire.

    Maybe he knew about the firing pin but hadn’t gotten around to fixing it.

    I obviously don’t know the actual truth – but something about this just doesn’t seem right.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Hold your head up bro the police can find a gun that ain’t working but still cant find out which officers stole all of the drugs from the police station!!!!

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  21. Inspector Gadget says:

    The most likely scenario is that he was hiding it for someone else. Now if he’ll come clean and tell us who that is, perhaps then a lighter sentence might be considered. Until then, suck it up buttercup.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    If he was set up then he would have an idea of who that might be. Was he hanging around gangs or troubled people? He deserves what he gets……………..its GUN he had under HIS bed! how stupid can these posters be????/ he had a gun under his bed Caymanian sympathizers!!!!

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    • Lala says:

      He clearly stated people come in and out of his house so how could he know exactly who it could be. Maybe it was indeed a family member who decided to hide it there with intentions of coming back for it or maybe it was that same family member who tried to set him up. And you must not be caymanian be despite what someone does we do sympathize because it is always sad to see someone with potential end up jailed or dead!

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      • Anonymous says:

        If it is your house, it is your responsibility to make sure nobody brings a gun into it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It wasn’t his house despite what the media would like you to think

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          • Anonymous says:

            OK, it wasn’t his house. Who is responsible for putting pictures of him with a gun in his hand on his Facebook page over the last 5 years?

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            • Lala says:

              Does it matter? Whatever guns he has posted on social media is it the same one he is being charged with? You guys obviously will judge anyone who has a messed up past because that is all you know

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            • Anonymous says:

              He without sin cast the first stone

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your stupid cause your clearly not reading!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian sympathisers? What are you? Sounds like a Caymanian hater.
      I can think of several scenarios where he may have a gun in his house and not know about it! If he wasn’t the only person living there, it is conceivable that it is not his gun. I can’t say for sure in this case…but reasonable doubt is there.
      I personally know of a case where someone had NO IDEA that a gun was in their house. The person who owned it, who also lived in the house, hid the gun without the leaseholder’s knowledge. It was only when the gun was used in a crime and the person arrested, that the leaseholder found out about the gun and where it had been hidden. It happens. And it doesn’t mean that you condone or sympathise – merely that you’ve been duped!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I would not be living in a house or apartment or even a tent with people I can’t trust! You think this youth is any different!?!

        So, if this young man was working all day turning a blind eye to the traffic in and out of his residence; that’s a type of guilt too folks. C’mon.

        He know what time it is. He just thought he was being smart.

        Well, you got at least 10 good years to think about the choices that led to this moment in your life son. You also have a child to consider in it all. Sad really. The cycle continues yet again.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    He seemed to be holding a gun for criminals. A criminal can turn that into a lethal weapon in 2 minutes. Good to see the jury not buy into his excuses. Everyone hiding weapons take not, you are going down, scumbags.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to RCIPS. Well done boys! It’s no good some people moaning about gun crime and unlicensed guns, and when these criminals are caught with such items in their possession making excuses for them. As an ex Police Officer, the excuses I have heard is unbelievable!
    The perpetrator had ammunition and a firearm in his possession, both unlicensed. It’s immaterial whether it worked or not. Maybe he wasn’t a gang member or had no previous convictions, the potential was there. Probably because he was never caught. You get the same sentence if the firearm was made of wood or if adapted to look like a firearm. If he was so innocent what was he doing with this gun and ammunition in his possession? Why didn’t he hand it in to RCIPS? If he was a law abiding citizen he wouldn’t want it to get into the wrong hands would he. No people, some of you have a lot to learn about these criminals. Let’s get them off the streets! We want a safe environment to live and bring up our children. We all need to stand up to these scumbags!

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    • Anonymous says:

      If he did not know about it how was he gonna turn it in May I ask?

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      • Anonymous says:

        He knew full well 7.46am that firearm was in his possession I can assure you about that! They all say that. If you listen to these criminals Northward us full of “innocent” people.

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    • Anonymous Bikestar says:

      Its good to see the RCIPS stepping into action on guns and violence instead of chasing people on dirt bikes like idiots.
      #BikesBringBonds
      #StopHatingTheBikelife

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      • Anonymous says:

        I will respect the “bikelife” when you all respect other road users and pedestrians and when you all stop acting like 5 year old thugs just let out of a concentration camp!

        When I see you coming toward me in my lane on the road and I’m in my car, you on your bike; I don’t move. Take these four wheels on all you want. Good-luck.

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      • cayguy says:

        Nah, not at all. Just waiting for one of you idiots wheelying in traffic and then eat asphalt in front an oncoming car. I seen some very close calls, one day you wont be so lucky. another note, word on the street jefferson was setup by someone just committed crimes with the mentioned weapon. sad to see this from someone that had made a complete turnaround for years. #dontjudge

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jefferson has turned his life around. He was accomplishing his goals. Maybe he just got caught in an unfortunate situation.
      The laws in Cayman are so ass backwards as well. How is he looking to serve the mandatory minimum of 10 years when Antonio Kelly was found guilty of manslaughter by careless driving and is only given 4 years sentencing.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me this is a joke
    There are so many problems with this.. no prints.. no record.. no gang affiliations.. gun don’t work.. officer forgot to write down comments especially a confession.. haha get out of here with this mess

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    • anonymous says:

      Apparently the jury didn’t find it a joke, which is why they found him guilty. Look, can we stop this “La La Land” infantile foolishness and all conclude what so many seem to be in denial about : if you have an unlicensed firearm and/or ammo inside of your property or on your person, you will be arrested, you are going to go to court, and unless you can convince a jury otherwise found guilty and sentenced by a judge to a minimum of ten years in the slammer. Now, let’s get real and quit being idiotic (but top marks for parallel-universe thinking – very imaginative!).

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    • Anonymous says:

      Easy appeal here. I’m actually very surprised this went to court in the first place. In the UK the CPS would simply have dumped the charges for lack of admissable evidence.

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      • Anonymous says:

        9:44 But it’s third-world justice here. With the right connections your trial gets delayed indefinitely, evidence gets lost and eventually you walk. Without those connections you end up in jail. We obviously don’t know the fuill picture here but if it was an RCIPS fit up it certainly wasn’t the first time that’s happened.

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  26. Gun-owner says:

    I am sure the defense attorney is rubbing his hands at the obvious grounds for appeal: this was not a ‘lethal barrelled weapon’ as defined in the Law thus he should have been found not guilty.

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    • Rick says:

      The Firearms Law is a public document. Go read it and stop speaking to what you do not know.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nunsense.

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    • anonymous says:

      So, you’re a lawyer, are you? And one with more firearms expert knowledge than the police and the prosecutor? My goodness, maybe they should have consulted you before beginning the case. Get real, pal.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    The sentence should be a deterrent so others will get the message that it is not okay to have unlicensed firearms in your possession. We will never get the illegal gun problem under control until the courts get serious on the issue.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Possessing components of a gun. That’s every house hold in Cayman if you take into account house hold combustable chemicals and steel piping. It’s not difficult to make a projectile firearm at all.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    What a fool going to prison for a couple shots and a broken gun what use was it to him anyway obviously none if it was broken. If I went to prison for a gun you better believe i would have several and them bitches would be loaded and automatic.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because it wasn’t his!! He was set up. No DNA and no fingerprints!

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      • Anon2 says:

        He was set up? By who? The police? They say that he admitted his past was catching up to him as he was held back and the room was being searched. Sounds like he wasn’t man enough to handle something he got himself involved in. Another punk off the streets if you ask me.

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        • Lala says:

          Set up by SOMEONE or maybe a family member came in left it there (without anyone knowing) not intending for it to be found or maybe a family member did set him up! And yea coming from an officer who FORGOT to take the confession down GTFOH

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must have been top of your class I bet…

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    • Lala says:

      You sound dumb

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      • Anonymous says:

        Grow-up, because grown people take responsibility for their actions.

        Little boys and girls will always find excuses for their behaviour!

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