Soto dodges conviction in gun possession case

| 09/02/2024 | 13 Comments
Eric Brian Williams Soto, accompanied by prison guards, on a visit to the scene of the crime during the murder trial

(CNS): Eric Brian Williams Soto (23), who was recently convicted of manslaughter in the 2022 shooting death of Harry Elliott (63), was acquitted last month of illegal gun charges in relation to another incident. Defence attorney Keith Myers made a successful application during a jury trial that there was no case to answer because the crown had not presented any evidence that his client was in possession or control of a gun that was found in a car he had rented.

After the crown had presented its case to the jury last month, Myers made the application that Soto was guilty of the possession of a loaded firearm in that it was recovered from the car he had rented. But he argued that the crown had failed to prove that Soto had any possession of control over the weapon.

He and Justin Kyle Jackson, his partner in crime in the robbery gone wrong that resulted in the death of Elliott, were arrested in April 2022 for gun possession and later charged.

The RCIPS had received a report that Jackson, a suspect in the fatal shooting that happened a few weeks before, had been seen in West Bay armed with a gun, which he had pointed at another individual before leaving in a white vehicle. Police officers tracked the car, a Toyota Yaris, and then began a pursuit.

The rental car crashed during the chase and both Soto and Jackson then fled on foot. During the incident, armed officers fired at the men, though no one was hit.

The handgun was recovered in the foot well of the driver’s side of the vehicle, but there was no forensic evidence linking the defendant to it. Neither Soto’s DNA nor his fingerprints were found on the weapon.

Police officers testified at trial that during the chase, the gun was waved around in the car, but they could not tell at the time which of the two men was holding it. Following their arrest, Soto was charged, largely on the basis that he had rented the car and there was a gun in it that had been visible to all, making him liable for its possession. There was evidence that Jackson was driving the car, and he later pleaded guilty to possessing the firearm.

However, Myers argued that the only evidence the crown had against the defendant was that he had hired the car, nothing more.

The judge found that the prosecution had not shown that Soto had any power or control over the gun. She said that being the renter of the car, without more evidence, did not amount to the possession and control necessary for a finding of the offence of possession of a firearm. As a result, she directed the jury to find Soto not guilty of the charges.

Nevertheless, Soto was remanded in custody as he and Jackson are due to be sentenced in the coming weeks for the manslaughter of Elliott.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The murder and mayhem continues in this hostile environment ! Back to normal Cayman UK minister gone backayard!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    No Evidence no conviction, the judge cannot do the prosecutions job for them no matter how much we/she “believes” Soto had the gun, if no evidence to prove this is produced the judge cannot go with her “gut feelings”. This is Criminal court not Judge Judy.

  3. Corruption has never been compulsory says:

    This Harry Elliott matter just keeps popping up every time ??Something just ain’t right here !” Robbery gone Wrong” is there ever a “Robbery gone Right “

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The armed officers fired at the men during the incident? 😳

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  5. anonymus says:

    And another jury trial related to gun charges that ends in acquittal… this needs to stop!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Was any DNA or fingerprint evidence collected from the gun at all? Were gloves worn/recovered?

    If it was shown that Soto wasn’t the driver, and it was in the passenger footwell of a tiny Yaris, then this guy is one blessed individual to avoid this charge. Still, the dumbass will be in prison for the other offense(s) committed, but this still grates.

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    • Anonymous says:

      >Was any DNA or fingerprint evidence collected from the gun at all? Were gloves worn/recovered?

      an alarming number of cases are thrown out do to the RCIP mishandling evidence. There have been multiple occasions were defendants have gotten off due to the RCIP failing to wear gloves when collecting evidence.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ‘The handgun was recovered in the foot well of the driver’s side of the vehicle,….’

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  7. Say what?? says:

    What a BS ruling by the judge. Does he/she not realize the dangerous precedent he/she has just set? Now any knucklehead can drive around with a loaded gun in their car! Because according to the judge in this case, having a loaded gun in your car does “not amount to the possession and control necessary for a finding of the offence of possession of a firearm”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The problem was that the prosecution failed to present any evidence. Either they neglected to collect incriminating evidence such as fingerprints or DNA at the scene, said evidence was lost before trial or they just decided not to present it, in any case the judge has to rule within the preponderance of evidence. If she had just unilaterally ruled that the officers word was sufficient for the charges it would immediately be appealed and we would be doing this song and dance all over again and THAT would be setting a dangerous precedence with regards to officers testimonies being viewed as evidence.

      This keeps happening with the RCIP. They mis-handle evidence, make errors recording witness statements, loose key case evidence and give erroneous testimony constantly.

      The only ones that actually showed any competency in their rolls in this case were the judge and the defense. As per usual when criminals are let loose the blame falls of the RCIP and prosecution.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hard to convict person A of possessing something when person B has already admitted to possessing it.

      Soto rented the car, the gun was found in the footwell of the driver’s side [I presume front seat], “There was evidence that Jackson was driving the car, and he later pleaded guilty to possessing the firearm.”

      Sounds a little different from ‘yes it’s my car but that’s not my gun sitting there beside me’.

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