Sentencing set for shooting incident

Leighton Rankine found guilty of wounding two men in a shooting incident at a nightclub parking lot in February 2012

Leighton Griffin Rankine Jr., 36, was found not guilty of attempted murder on Tuesday after he elected trial by judge alone.

That charge and others arose from a shooting incident outside Club Seven on 22 February, 2012.

Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop announced her verdicts Tuesday morning, finding Rankine guilty of possession and unlawful use of an unlicensed .38 Smith & Wesson revolver.

She said the evidence did show he fired the one shot that injured two men, Mitchell Anthony Wright and Jolyon Frederick. With no evidence to show that Rankine conveyed an intention to kill, she considered the alternate charge of wounding with intent and found him guilty. She also found Rankine guilty of assaulting a third man, Jordan McLean.

The judge said she did not believe that these three men had deliberately lied when giving their evidence about the incident; neither did she find that there had been any collusion or wicked invention.

Rankine also gave evidence, telling the court he did not remember anything about the incident. He said the last thing he recalled was dancing with someone at the Buttonwood Club and the next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital with tubes in his mouth. But he denied ever having a gun or having access to one.

Mr. Wright’s evidence was that he wrestled Rankine to the ground after being shot. He acknowledged he was angry and he kicked Rankine in the face.

Sentencing was adjourned until Thursday at 2pm.

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards and defence attorney Clyde Allen said they would bring precedents and guideline cases at that time.

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