Cruise ship passenger denies gun charges

| 20/02/2019
Cayman News Service, rape

Law Courts Building, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Carol Ann McNeill Skorupan (67), a cruise ship passenger who was visiting Cayman from Wisconsin, has denied two charges relating to the possession of an unlicensed gun and ammunition. The American woman was arrested and charged earlier this month at Owen Roberts International Airport, where she had gone to collect luggage that had been shipped to her by Delta Airways after the airline had misplaced it during her internal US flight. Skorupan, who has a firearms permit in the US, said she never gave permission for the bag which contained her gun to be sent to Cayman.

However, prosecutors claim that the woman did direct her missing bag to be sent here, based on both airline forms she completed and requests she made of staff on the cruise ship that brought her here.

Skorupan, who works as an accountant, had travelled from Wisconsin to Florida with three bags ahead of her planned cruise vacation. When one did not arrive, she reported the missing luggage, but the crown says she did not declare that it contained a .25 pistol and six rounds of .25 ammunition.

But after reporting the bag lost and indicating where she was going, she boarded the Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship, which was bound for Grand Cayman, its first port of call.

When she arrived here on 3 February she was told the bag was at the airport, but she later learned that the border agents had found the firearm. She was then arrested and charged.

Although she has been bailed, as a US citizen with no ties to the Cayman Islands, she is on a tight curfew, her travel documents have been seized and she is required to report to George Town Police Station three times per week.

As a result her lawyer has sought a speedy resolution to the case, which is why, within a matter of just a few weeks, the case has already made it to the Grand Court and it has a tentative trial date set for April.

The woman is claiming that she was not in control of her gun when it was shipped here and had not asked the airline to send the bag to Cayman but had merely identified where she was travelling to. Speaking on her behalf before the Grand Court Wednesday, defence attorney James Stenning said his client never intended for that bag to ever leave US soil.

The case was adjourned until 15 April, though Stenning gave notice that he intends to apply for a variation to Skorupan’s bail to allow her to return to the United States until the trial.

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