Bail applications are not successful
Two men were remanded in custody on Wednesday afternoon after Magistrate Grace Donalds heard details of one of the charges against them: possession of an unlicensed 9 mm Browning semi-automatic pistol loaded with a clip containing seven rounds of ammunition.
She also heard about their immigration status, ganja charges, and – for one man – charges alleging assault and possession of an imitation firearm. Otis Brown, 24, and Marlon St. Aubyn Miller, 35, are jointly charged with having the handgun on Sunday, June 7, in a vehicle outside a Bodden Town residence.
Crown Counsel Scott Wainwright explained that the charges arose from events that began in George Town on Wednesday, June 3, when a woman filed a complaint.
She told police she had been in a relationship with Brown, whom she knew as “Indian,” for about two months. On June 3, around 9:40 a.m., he came to her George Town residence with Miller, whom she knew as “Rasta.” An argument developed between her and Brown and she accepted that she slapped him across his face. She then alleged that he punched her with a closed fist, causing bruises to her face.
He then began chasing her and she fell in a puddle on the road. As she looked up at him standing over her, he produced from the waistband of his trousers a silver 9 mm handgun with a black handle. She said Rasta took the gun away from Indian and the men left.
She called police and gave the registration number of the vehicle the two men were in.
Officers looked for the vehicle and located it at an address in Bodden Town. When police went there on June 7, both men were in the car. Brown was in the passenger seat and Miller was in the driver’s seat. Both seats were reclined and the men appeared to be asleep.
Officers banged on the boot and ordered the men to exit. When the vehicle was searched, a silver nine-millimeter pistol was recovered from the footwell on the passenger’s side. It was partially wrapped in a green t-shirt, but was readily visible.
Mr. Wainwright handed up photographs of the gun and ammunition. He said a local firearms expert test-fired the gun and without difficulty it fired one of the rounds seen in the photos. The gun has been sent away to be examined for fingerprints and DNA. Results were expected in 10 to 14 days.
Also recovered from the car was a small amount of ganja, leading to charges against both men of possessing and consuming the illegal drug. On the back porch of the residence, officers found two small ganja plants.
Both men were interviewed under caution.
Brown admitted being involved in the June 3 incident, but he denied producing any weapon or threatening anyone. Asked about the gun in the car, he denied all knowledge.
Cautioned as to his immigration status, he said he had come to Cayman four or five months ago and claimed to have a work permit. However, immigration officers found no record of him ever landing here and no record of any work permit. Brown is being charged with illegal landing.
Miller admitted being present at the June 3 incident but denied any knowledge of any firearm. He has been in Cayman a number of years, but his work permit expired in April this year.
Mr. Wainwright said both men are Jamaican nationals.
Defense attorney John Furniss spoke for Brown, pointing out that his client had provided DNA, fingerprints and all information asked for, including how he got here. Brown has a close friend here who could be approached to provide a surety and potential residence.
Mr. Furniss said the argument between Brown and the woman started over the fact that he had asked her to do his laundry and he would have paid her for it. When the woman slapped him, he pushed her off and she fell.
The attorney said it seemed ridiculous that an argument like that could escalate to include a firearm. He asked for bail so that everything could be sorted out. He said as far as he was aware Brown had no previous problems here or in Jamaica.
Defense attorney Prathna Bodden emphasized that Miller was here legally. He had receipts showing payment for a renewal of his work permit, but now the permit has been revoked. She said Miller has strong local ties, including family members who live here. He had given a full account to police and was confident that when the results of the forensic examination were known, he would be exonerated.
Ms. Bodden suggested that an electronic monitor could meet all objections to bail and save government the cost of keeping Miller in custody, given that the annual cost is now almost $70,000 per prisoner.
After the magistrate withheld bail, the next mention date was set for June 23.
Ms. Bodden said she hoped that pleas and election (choosing Grand Court or Summary Court) could take place on that day.
When the vehicle was searched, a silver 9 mm pistol was recovered from the footwell on the passenger’s side.