Defendant’s DNA on shotgun, jury told

A Grand Court jury began hearing evidence on Wednesday in the case of Tonie Elford Bush, who has pleaded not guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The firearm, a Remington 12-gauge pump-action shotgun loaded with four rounds of live ammunition, was found in the home Bush occupies with his mother, Crown counsel Scott Wainwright told the jurors when he opened the case.

Evidence includes DNA reports, Mr. Wainwright said. He explained that the shotgun and ammunition were swabbed. Analysis of swabs from the slide and the butt of the gun showed DNA matching that of Bush.

The likelihood of the DNA on the firearm coming from someone other than Bush was one in one quintillion, Mr. Wainwright said. He noted that a quintillion is a billion billion.

DNA from the four live cartridges was also compared to Bush’s DNA. The likelihood of the cartridge DNA coming from someone other than Bush was one in 88,000.

Bush, who chose to represent himself, asked the investigating officer about DNA on Thursday. He questioned whether DNA had been taken from the owners of the house and others who have access to it. He also wondered whether DNA swabs had been taken from the couch where officers said the shotgun was found.

After discussing the matter in the absence of the jury, Justice Malcolm Swift told jurors that police had had some DNA swabs for some time, but they had not been analyzed until Mr. Wainwright “came on the scene.”

The swabs have now been tested, but the results had not yet been served on the defendant or his expert witness. When they received the results, they would need time to consider them.

On that basis, the judge advised that DNA experts would be giving their evidence on Monday.

As of Thursday lunchtime, seven police officers had given evidence about going with a search warrant to Bush’s residence at Miss Daisy Lane in West Bay after 6 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2015. The officers described their various roles in the procedure of knocking on the door, identifying themselves and calling on occupants to come out.

After Bush came out and was arrested, some officers entered the house. In a room said to be Bush’s bedroom, the shotgun was found hidden under three cushions on a sofa.

Each officer has been questioned as to whether he or she touched the shotgun or the ammunition or the defendant.

In his interview with police, Bush denied any knowledge of the shotgun, saying he had never seen it and never touched it.

In questioning one of the officers, Bush suggested that the firearm had been placed under the cushions by one of his family members or someone entering the house.

Justice Swift asked if he meant the police and Bush said yes.

The witness replied that no member of the police party placed the shotgun there.



Comments are closed.