Four charged for unlicensed shotguns

Justice Charles Quin and a Grand Court jury began
hearing evidence on Monday in the trial of four men charged with possession of two
unlicensed shotguns in April 2008.

In opening the case to the jury, Crown
Counsel Tricia Hutchinson noted that all four had pleaded not guilty:  Keith Bryan Orrett, 41; Brian Emmanuel Borden,
24; Bjorn Connery Ebanks, 25; and Keith Rohan Montaque, 21.

The guns and four cartridges were
found in the attic of an apartment in West Bay
rented and occupied by Orrett.

The allegation is that Orrett was
in possession of both firearms by virtue of the fact he had them knowingly on
the premises over which he had custody and control.

The other three men were present at
the apartment and their DNA profiles linked them to one or both of the
firearms, Ms Hutchinson outlined.

Ebanks and Montaque are charged in
connection with a P-Beretta 12-gauge
shotgun.

Borden and Montaque are charged in
connection with a Remington model 870
12-gauge shotgun.

Two other men were also in the
apartment, but they were not charged.

Most of the witnesses have been
police officers. They explained how they approached the premises during
daylight hours of 7 April 2008, how they announced themselves and then entered
the premises. They detailed their behaviour toward the occupants and the procedure
they followed in finding and securing the firearms.

Defence attorneys have been
questioning the various steps of the process, including the officers’ notes of
the incident, their wearing of gloves, the manner in which the firearms were
handled for photography and being made safe.

On Tuesday, Defence Attorney
Nicholas Dixey asked one of the policemen to show how another officer searched
the individuals coming from the premises. The witness pointed out that he was
covering the other suspects, so he was watching the “pat down” with peripheral
vision.

Using Court Marshal J. R. Douglas
for this demonstration, the witness drew his hands from Mr. Douglas’ wrist
right up to the arm pit on each side, then touched the waist area and pockets.
He agreed there may be contact between the officer and the suspect in the pat-down
process.

A scenes-of-crime officer explained
the process by which he took DNA swabs from the firearms. Asked if he also took
fingerprints, he said no. Swabbing for DNA would obliterate any prints, he
indicated.

On Wednesday afternoon, the jury
heard from acknowledged DNA expert Kevin Noppinger. He detailed the process by
which he checked for DNA on the swabs from the firearms. If he found any DNA
profiles, he compared them with the profiles of various known individuals.

Mr. Noppinger confirmed he did not
find any DNA on the guns that matched Keith Orrett’s profile.

Questioning of this witness was
scheduled to continue Thursday morning.

Crown Counsel Tricia Hutchinson is
conducting the prosecution, assisted
by Crown Counsel Candia James.

Orrett is represented by Attorneys
John Fox and James Stenning.

Mr. Dixey represents
Ebanks. Attorney Nick Hoffman is defending Borden, while Attorney Ben Tonner
acts for Montaque.

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