Absent US woman to be tried again

| 18/04/2019
Cayman News Service, Cayman Islands gun posession

Cayman Islands courthouse, George Town

(CNS): Carol Ann McNeil-Skorupan (68), from Wisconsin, will be tried for the second time in September, after a trial in her absence ended Wednesday as the jury was unable to come to a decision on the charges against her for the possession of an unlicensed firearm. McNeil-Skorupan had denied the charges and claimed that a gun in her luggage was forwarded to Cayman by Delta Airlines without her instructions after the bag was lost during a domestic flight in the US.

McNeil-Skorupan, who has a concealed carry permit in America, flew from Wisconsin to Florida to board a cruise ship bound for the Caribbean, but when she got there one of her pieces of luggage was missing.

The crown contends that she had then given express instructions to the airline, shipping agent and cruise company to send the bag to its first port of call, which was Grand Cayman, but had told no one about the weapon.

When the bag arrived here and the gun was discovered by customs officials, she was arrested and interviewed. After several days in custody, she was released on bail and then, having pleaded not guilty, asked for a Grand Court trial.

Having given the court a surety of some $25,000, she was allowed to travel home to address her affairs. But McNeil-Skorupan then failed to answer bail on Monday, when the expedited trial was scheduled to take place, and her surety was forfeited.

Nevertheless, the court pressed on in her absence, as she was represented by James Stenning and Keith Myers of Stenning and Associates. But the jury was unable to reach even a majority verdict and so the judge ordered a retrial. The crown, however, has opted to continue to proceed with the case.

On Thursday the court set a new trial date for 23 September. The judge issued a warrant for McNeil-Skorupan’s arrest and the crown confirmed it was seeking to extradite her from the United States.

CNS: This article originally said that the judge had declared a mistrial, which is incorrect. It has therefore been corrected, with apologies to all concerned.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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