Emotions high after guilty verdict in gun case

| 14/08/2018 | 81 Comments
Cayman News Service

RCIPS motorbike outside the courthouse in George Town

(CNS): Emotions ran high in Grand Court on Tuesday when two local men were convicted of illegally possessing two handguns following a two-week trial. Gerald Jaleel Bush (21) and Rico Roy Walton (28) now face a minimum of ten years behind bars after a jury found them guilty of possessing a Colt 45 and a Trabzon 9mm as well as six rounds of ammunition. Before the jury foreman finished delivering the verdicts, Bush had an emotional outburst, running out of the dock and down to the cells. While Walton remained considerably cooler, he was also visibly shocked by the verdict. 

The crown’s case relied largely on circumstantial evidence against the men, who were arrested on the shoreline in South Sound in June 2017 after the semi-automatic guns and ammunition were found by Deputy Police Commissioner Kurt Walton under what is often referred to as ‘the shoe tree’.

The men, who are both from Bodden Town, were tracked for some time by the police helicopter crew before their arrest, when they were spotted aboard a boat in the Sound around midnight acting suspiciously.

Deputy PC Walton, who was in the area, heard the radio communications and pulled over on South Sound Road by the shoe tree. He saw the boat that was being discussed on the radio with one man on board, but when those on board spotted the headlight of his vehicle, the boat moved away towards the South Sound Dock.

DPC Walton got out of the car and went to the tree. After a short search he found the weapons hidden in a sock.

Meanwhile, the RCIPS Air Operations Unit had already seen the boat drop off another man further along the shore before observing the second man, who had remained on-board, come to shore and move around near the tree that was later searched by Kurt Walton. The second man then got back on the boat and went to the dock.

During the trial the jurors were shown the footage captured by the helicopter showing the small boat coming through the South Sound channel headed toward Old Crewe Road, where the first man got off, and then the boat continued along the shoreline before the second man also came ashore.

Bush, who owned the boat, and Rico Walton were both arrested. There were no fingerprints or DNA connecting the men to the weapons but messages, calls and pictures on Bush’s phone proved to be very incriminating.

An expert witness who gave evidence during the trial said that one picture on Bush’s phone, which had been downloaded and later deleted but recovered by technical experts, was not just an image of a similar gun but was the exact Trabzon 9mm gun that police recovered. The expert pointed to eleven unique marks that helped him make the identification.

Bush had also engaged in conversations via phone messages with several people in Jamaica that, although not specific, appeared to be about buying guns.

Both men had denied any knowledge of the weapons, claiming that they had gone fishing and were returning home when they were arrested. Walton claimed his trip to the shore was to hide ganja, not guns, and Bush claimed the messages and other incriminating phone evidence was a discussion largely about buying car parts and a boat party he was arranging. He said the image of the gun was simply sent to him as part of a group WhatsApp and he knew nothing about it.

Nevertheless, the jury was not convinced that the men had been on nothing more than an innocent fishing-trip, and after more than four hours of deliberation found them guilty on all counts.

Following Bush’s outburst, the verdict was finally delivered in full and Bush was returned to the dock, where both he and Walton were remanded in custody pending their sentencing hearing next month. The judge said he would not hold Bush in contempt but noted that they should have been prepared for the outcome.

Lawyers representing the men both asked for social inquiries to be conducted ahead of the sentencing hearing. Bush and Walton do not have previous related convictions but they are facing the mandatory minimum sentence of ten years for the unlawful possession of the weapons unless they can argue exceptional circumstances.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (81)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Caymanian jurors! You took your responsibilities seriously. Now Judge, it’s your turn. Don’t let us down, please.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I guess the cells had tissues and a comfort station?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Guns. Drugs. At this age these young punks should be thinking about educating themselves and working to make a life for themselves and contribute positively to our community. Instead they have sunk in a hole that their own parents (main influencers) didn’t bother to try to steer them out of because some of them are just as lost. Parents wake the EFF UP! Some of you are in denial about your own lives and cannot direct your kids. This is why we have this today. I have zero pity. Sentence them to the 10 years for a start. Let’s see how much lip and smugness they leave prison with.

    • Anonymous says:

      First off no matter how good a parent raises their child and brings them up people will be people so you cant blame parents… these are all adults responsible for their actions. How do you even know if these individuals’ parents are even alive or were even in their life or raised by them so please be mindful on what you say. Secondly, it very sad but true “education” does not warrant a job nor does a qualification guarantee a job in any field. CAYMANIANS have gone and become qualified in various fields and when they return home to Cayman they themselves cant get a job with their college degree either. As for sentencing them for 10 years be aware that you the “public” is indirectly supporting these “punks” in prison for the 10 years. Some persons may come from worse living conditions than the prison, how some may feel is They have a roof over their head, 3 meals a day, fresh running water, light, education and last but not least being able to make money whilst there as there.

      No pity needed just let the justice system do its job, that’s what they are there for. People will always have something negative to say, and they believe their life is better than others nor have they done anything wrong, remember we are not to judge others of whom we know NOT but to pray for the individual of whom is being judged!

  4. Annoyed says:

    Well, it is time to re-visit Jefferson’s case. That young man should be released so that he can get back to work to take care of his family. Jefferson made a turn-around in his life years ago and was brutally set-up. Free Michael Jefferson.

  5. Mike says:

    Well done RCIP and DCP Walton.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good job, well done. These punks must learn that their crimes are not going to last forever. They just cannot be left to destroy our beautiful Cayman. Good people deserve better and we are press forward for total ‘0 tolerance’ – punks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like another great job by the helicopter crew from that summary. Lets hope we get to see the video, it will make good evening entertainment.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Savannah, Newlands and Spotts Newlands we can sleep now. Thank God.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes 11.34am…. and also they can feel safe to enter their homes without getting robbed at gun point on their porch 3 in the morning (or any time)….Lock them up that’s where the likes of them belong…. great job. Keep going RCIP more still out there.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just another reason to remove that damn shoe tree!

    • Anonymous says:

      I laugh every time I drive by and see the new boardwalk that stops at the tree and starts up again after the tree for like 8 meters.

    • Anonymous says:

      NO KIDDING! What an eyesore. All that garbage stapled to a beautiful tree. How in the world anybody thinks that tree is great needs their head examined. Keep the tree, get rid of the trashy shoes!

    • Anonymous says:

      For all the plastic free talk that goes on here, I’m surprised no one has highlighted what an eyesore and pollution hazard this tree is. The audacity of self absorbed people to walk up to a old tree that was beautiful in its own right and feel that they need to leave their plastic shoes behind to commemorate their existence. Now it’s a perfect spot for hiding guns and maybe drugs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t find this to be justice at all, it’s a joke. All circumstantial evidence, but yet you can have witnesses and circumstantial evidence in rape cases and murder trials and they get 4 years?? Sure prevention is better than cure but are we really going to take 10 years or more from these young men who could have been counselled and become decent citizens while real killers and rapists are out on our streets.

    • Anonymous says:

      @10:36 You are an idiot. These guys are destroying our islands. NORTHWARD!

    • Kadafe says:

      Sounds good till they put that gun in your face and take your stuff!
      Its only a shame that the minimum is only 10 years. Should be 20 like some other countries.

  11. Fish says:

    who they think they wa trying fool tho??? I am a fisherman and that “I forgot the bait” story was silly as hell dudes. u na find squid in some old shoe tree. and unneh waited till 12am until unneh realize there was no bait on the boat lmfao and who walks to the Esso when u clearly drove there hahahaha go to prison unneh story fulla $#7I!t

  12. Anonymous says:

    Whodatis will blame the expats and Tony Blair.

    They should face sentences above the minimum since it was clear their possession was connected to their participation in other crimes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I blame the shoe tree.

      • Anonymous says:

        I blame the expats who started polluting sound sound by creating the ugly shoe tree. Wasn’t any locals doing that nonsense. But in all fairness, our locals use it for criminal activity now. So (sarcasm alert) thanks to both stupid sides.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm…couple o’ things..;
      1. Eff’ you (and your voting supporters) for the bullshit slander you continually attach to my anonymous legacy and,

      2. I suggest you scroll down to comment posted at 2:22 (yeah, coz’ I’m cool like that) and cross-reference with your comment.

      (Yes, that’s you (and your supporters) now looking and feeling very foolish. Congrats.)

      – Whodatis

      • Anonymous says:

        “My anonymous legacy”. Narcissist much? You are quick to blame the UK and expats as the cause of crime, and when the criminals are your school buddies you are an out and out apologist.

        • Anonymous says:

          (Sigh)

          Re: ““My anonymous legacy”. Narcissist much?”
          Irony is so very lost on the unintelligent.

          Re: “You are quick to blame the UK and expats as the cause of crime…”
          Please, please, please…forward just ONE example of this via this platform or any other.
          It should be an easy task considering, according to you, I am “quick to blame”.

          By the way, I don’t expect a meaningful response as you know as well as I do you are talking absolute crap – nevertheless, anything anti-Whodatis here on CNS receives instant and guaranteed support.

          You people are truly very sad individuals.

          Case in point, the accusation was thoroughly refuted via a clear reference to the evidence in this very thread – yet…y’all stay in formation, lol!
          Honestly, I am embarrassed on your behalf.

          – Whodatis

          *The truth of the matter is, when the UK deserves to be called out for their perpetual and ever-lurking ‘effery as it concerns the Cayman Islands (which has no relevance to this news story, but apparently you seemed to believe otherwise) – Whodatis is right there to smack them back in line.

          Whodatis is rarely off-target at times like those, and it BOILS THE BLOOD of people like yourself – moreover as you and your colleagues have conjured up some vague idea of “what” I am.

          This is why I conjure up such rage and vitriol on this platform.
          (Truth often hurts – but it is what it is. Sorry, nah sorry.)

          To the point whereby I STAY on the minds of you and our colleagues to the extent that you cannot even pen a comment without calling on Whodatis – first and foremost as witnessed above.

          😉

          • Anonymous says:

            You don’t boil anyone’s blood, you amuse us with your witterings. The angry one seem to be you with all that ‘effing you have going on. Dance little Who, dance for us some more, you entertain us.

            • Anonymous says:

              Dude, never forget – you / they call(ed) for Whodatis, not vice versa.

              They preface their own opinion with presumptions of what Whodatis’ would be.

              If anything, we should all be concerned about the mental state of such individuals.

              – Whodatis

            • Anonymous says:

              Got to agree, I particularly enjoyed who’s posts earlier this year when he started posting third person posts in support of his ‘official’ who editorial/lectures – classic.

              • Anonymous says:

                Dude, you appear to be better informed on all things Whodatis than Whodatis.

                Do go on – tell us more.

                While you’re at it, go back and read post 2:22; witness the actual Whodatis perspective and reaction thereto.

                Feel free to carry on with the fake stories and hollow ridicule though.

                – Who

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not?

      Blair and the some expats are mostly the descendants of the colonialists that raped the Caribbean.

      • Anonymous says:

        So because I was born into a family line that came from horrible people way way back I should be judged on their merit and not my own? Go fly a kite in a hurricane.

        • Anonymous says:

          So cut the shyte!

          Your place in this life is based on the ill gotten gains of that rape, enslavement and pillage!

          Get educated u little moron!

          • Anonymous says:

            Moron? Oh you poor soul. I’m sure my education is much better than yours because mine taught me history and how not to dwell and repeat while yours seems to have just festered your racism.

          • Anonymous says:

            You sound like a guy I’d slam a beer or 6 with. Cheers lol.

          • say it like it is says:

            5.07pm So typical of a local contributor.. You forget that right now Caymanians are involved in rape, enslavement (domestic “helpers”), and pillage. I will not descend to your level by dishing out personal insults but you surely deserve it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No knowledge of the guns despite the fact there is a picture of the exact gun on his phone?!?!? Sounds have been an actor because the “night time fishing” didn’t work out too well.

  14. West Bay Premier says:

    I say throw the cel. keys in the Cayman trench .

  15. Anonymous says:

    Honestly though, who in their right mind is out fishing in the middle of the night to catch grunts and squirrel fish , with any seriousness that is even remotely believable ?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Must have been a real shock to be convicted since it rarely happens here. Must have been a smug feeling up until then.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Gonna get a hand slapping , jus you watch

    • Anonymous says:

      Mandatory minimum of 10 years doesn’t seem like a slap on the wrist to me

      • Anonymous says:

        If only the judges did not keep buying the sob stories.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh I’ve got a kid. Oh I am stupid. Oh I’ve found God. Oh my childhood was a bad one. Blah, blah, blah. Yet that crap works.

          • Anonymous says:

            A rough childhood is a valid reason for a select few circumstances, let’s be real.

            • Anonymous says:

              No! Immorality, laziness, greed and selfishness are the reasons. Your comment is an insult to those brought up in difficult circumstances who chose to live life morally.

      • Senit Awle says:

        Ten years ain’t a slap on the wrist, but after the appeals, etc, we know that these scumbags will serve very little time, if any.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Bush’s reaction just proves that these gun boys are really just pathetic cowards.

    Spoiler alert: the social inquiry will reveal inadequate parenting, poor educational performance, and an inter-generational cycle of anti-social behaviours, all of which is seen by the families as the government’s fault.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Go, not another slap on the wrist sentence. Want crime in Cayman to curb? Shows that the courts aren’t screwing around anymore.

  20. Anonymous says:

    You do the crime – you can also face the time! Great job RCIPS! Keep it up!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Great search and recovery of these guns and ammo and thorough investigation…Who knows how many lives were saved.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Excellent work by the police DPP and jury. The defendants thought they were smart
    The jury was smarter. I wonder if the fathers of these boys were in court.

  23. Anonymous says:

    These young men tried to fool the system and paid the price.

    These boys parents must be so disappointed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Im sure they don’t care and that is why they are in jail right now. If they do care its only because baby boy won’t be paying for anything with his criminal money anymore.

  24. Anonymous says:

    No sympathy for thugs who run guns. Enjoy your cells while we enjoy you’re off the streets.

  25. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing I detest more in this life of mine than criminally-minded, young Caymanian males.

    You are the filth destroying what should be a beautiful place to live.

    As a fellow born and raised Caymanian with many relatives and acquaintances that chose that path – I am firm in the belief that it is inspired by greed, laziness, and thuggery – not “necessity”.

    Why would you want to import more guns to this tiny rock where your parents and children live?

    So, eff’ “all two o’ y’all” (Birdman voice) and may you receive the harshest possible penalty as a deterrent to others considering the same course of action.

    Btw, the days of rampant successful importation of illicit drugs and weapons are numbered – our new drone technology and advancements will see to that.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Now let’s make sure 10 years is. 10 years. Too many sob stories reducing possession sentences.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Dear Judge,

    Please on behalf of the honest citizens of the Cayman Islands, 10 years is a good starting point.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Great job RCIP and ODPP. Well executed operation and assembled evidence. These two, bringing in drugs and guns, are the people who will ruin this island if you let them.

  29. What you gonna do bad boys says:

    Waltob got caught by his cousin? Caymanians make the best police. Stop the drive for resident police

  30. Anonymous says:

    When I was young incidents involving guns were few and far apart. Today there is a complete turn around. Not long ago, individuals were encouraged to turn in their guns without fear of prosecution. Some it would seem choose to ignore the opportunity.
    We need to get guns off the street. We need to have sentences that will send a clear message that the courts are serious about reducing crime.

  31. Anonymous says:

    good-bye and good riddance

  32. Anonymous says:

    Ten years please and no mercy. Do the crime do the time

  33. Anonymous says:

    Finally!!!!!! Some actual justice.
    Hopefully they don’t get out before serving all their time.

  34. I will stay Anonymous says:

    In these cases, what worries me, is many times in Court history, the defendants (not saying these defendants) claim innocence, police set them up, and they are indeed innocent! It so happens out of the 400 police officers, a deputy one would be the one to do the catch. Juries and Courts tends to pick the side of the police; especially, if high ranking officers were investigating the case. Not declaring these guys are innocent or the cop is corrupt. But I notice you are having circumstantial cases now in the Cayman Islands more than once where defendants are claiming police set them up. Question – Are we taking a huge risk in putting an innocent person behind bars in condemning the person based on circumstances alone?

    • Anon says:

      @8:14pm I got your point and hear what your saying, but specific to this case, these guys didn’t claim they were set up. They went the route of “fishing trip” and “not my gun” despite incriminating photos.

      I try to stay on top of these cases, and can’t say that I have come across any cases in Cayman where the defendant said they were set up (could be wrong, but don’t recall).

    • Anonymous says:

      Circumstantial evidence doesn’t mean it is not good evidence. One piece of circumstantial evidence may be viewed as insufficient or a mere coincidence. Multiple pieces of circumstantial evidence would make any reasonable person suspicious or at least have some alarm bells ringing. Add a good solid argument for if the accused committed the crime and you have a good case for conviction which the jury found here.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Good go hard on them and show other offenders you mean business and we are going to be tough of crime. That’s what’s the problem, everyone knows it’s such a lenient place when it comes to sentencing that they might as well be criminals.

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