Verdict expected today in lawyer’s trial

UPDATE: Attorneys drug convictions quashed

Magistrate Grace Donalds is expected to give her decision today after hearing evidence on Thursday and Friday in the trial of Caymanian attorney Patrick G. Schmid.

Magistrate Grace Donalds is expected to give her decision today after hearing evidence on Thursday and Friday in the trial of Caymanian attorney Patrick G. Schmid.

The defendant pleaded not guilty on Thursday to importation and possession of .134 of a gram of methamphetamine and .0085 of a gram of cocaine.

The charges arose from an incident that occurred at Owen Roberts Airport on the evening of 31 July 2006 when the defendant was coming from his home in Miami.

Mr. Schmid is a former chairman of the National Drug Council and member of Cayman Against Substance Abuse.

Crown Counsel Gail Johnson opened the case and called Customs officers to give their evidence.

The first officer said that on checking the defendant’s luggage he came across a small tablet bottle with Mr. Schmid’s name on it; inside was some crystal-like substance. He also came across a small plastic bag with a powdery type of substance.

He asked what it was and the defendant told him it was a type of protein for his sister. An officer with more field-testing experience was called over, as was a senior officer.

Questioned by Defence Attorney David McGrath, this witness said there were other medicine bottles and vials and Mr. Schmid did tell him what they were for. The witness could not recall if the items were in a gym bag.

Mr. McGrath asked if Mr. Schmid did not say that the substance was a metabolic enhancer, a form of protein supplement used for the gym. The officer said the word he recalled was protein only.

The second witness was the officer doing the field test; he showed the results to his senior officer, who said that the substance would be taken for further testing.

This witness remembered Mr. Schmid saying he had some protein supplement given to him for his cousin, then saying it was for himself.

Questioned by Mr. McGrath, he said yes, Mr. Schmid did say the substance was a metabolic enhancer given to him by a personal trainer.

Giving evidence on Friday, the defendant said he went to the gym three or four times per week to keep fit and relieve stress. He said he spoke to a trainer named Roberto at the gym on how to make his workout more productive.

Roberto made some changes in his routine and suggested he use a metabolic enhancer with his protein supplement before or after working out.

After trying a sample, he bought a two-week supply for $200 for himself and a one-week supply for his cousin. He had asked what it consisted of and was told it contained ginseng, spirulina and guarana.

He asked if it contained any anabolic steroid and was told absolutely not.

He brought some of the product with him because he expected to visit the gym while he was here. He put the product in a pill bottle because he had the bottle from his other prescription medications.

He denied saying anything was for his sister, as he is an only child.

Having been told that the field tests were inconclusive, he tried to locate Roberto when he went back to Miami. He then discovered that Roberto was a private instructor not employed by the gym. He never found Roberto.

Questioned by Ms Johnson, he said he absolutely did not know that the product contained any illicit substance.

A Defence witness said he worked out at the same gym as Mr. Schmid and had seen Mr. Schmid with Roberto. He said he had been introduced to Roberto but had not worked out with him. He did not know Roberto’s last name.

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