Court tries missing US woman over gun

| 16/04/2019
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts

(CNS): An American woman who had a suitcase containing a loaded gun that was sent to Grand Cayman to meet a cruise ship last month, failed to appear for her trial this week. But the crown is pressing on with the charges against Carol Ann McNeil-Skorupan (68), from Wisconsin. Prosecutors said she knowingly directed the airline, which had mislaid her luggage, to send the bag with the firearm here to meet the Celebrity Silhouette, on which she was a passenger, without declaring the weapon.

Crown counsel Greg Walcolm told the jury that she had a concealed carry permit in the US but she did not have a licence to have a gun in this jurisdiction.

After McNeil-Skorupan was arrested, the women had admitted in a police interview that the gun was hers and that she had packed it, as she was planning on travelling to “dangerous” places. She claimed that it was never her intention to direct the airline to send the gun here but that she would have kept that luggage in Florida, where she had stayed ahead of the cruise.

But Walcolm said her intention was to send the bag here, demonstrated by the information she had given to the airline, the cruise company and the shipping agent.

The question for the jury is whether or not McNeil-Skorupan did have the gun sent to Cayman without regard to the law or whether the airline had simply sent the luggage here without her express permission.

McNeil-Skorupan, who is a chartered accountant, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

After three days in jail she was was granted bail, and after depositing a $10,000 bond, she was then given permission to travel before the trial. The hearing had been expedited to accommodate the fact she is an overseas resident but she still failed to appear for the opening of the case Monday.

Despite not being there in person, McNeil-Skorupan is represented by defence attorneys James Stenning and Keith Myers.

The case continues.

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