A woman found guilty of possessing four bullets without a license was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years imprisonment, the mandatory minimum sentence under the Firearms Law.
Kimesha Tameka Walters, 30, had pleaded not guilty after the .38 ammunition was found in her North Sound Road apartment on Feb. 18, 2016. In the same search by police officers, 57 wraps of ganja were found. Walters pleaded guilty to possession of ganja with intent to supply.
The bulk of the trial for the bullets took place in February this year, with Magistrate Grace Donalds delivering her verdict in March.
At the sentencing hearing this week, Crown counsel Scott Wainwright pointed to the provisions of the Firearms Law: in a case where the individual pleads guilty, the court shall impose a sentence of at least seven years. In any other case, the court shall impose a sentence of at least 10 years. In law, “shall” means “must.”
The definition of firearm in the law includes “any ammunition capable of being used in any firearm.”
Defense attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke confirmed on Wednesday that an appeal is being filed against both sentence and conviction for the bullets.
Walters also received six months consecutive for the ganja, the total found being calculated as 5.29 ounces. Cash seized on the premises, totaling $1,500, was forfeited to the Crown.
Walters, who was unemployed, had admitted receiving the ganja to sell it so that she could support herself and a young child.
She denied knowledge of the bullets, which an officer found in a basket on top of a refrigerator in her bedroom along with hair accessories, jewelry and other personal items.
Walters gave evidence that other people had access to that area of the apartment, including a couple who rented the premises’ second bedroom. Walters told the court the bullets were not hers and she did not know they were there.
Crown counsel Claire Wetton, who conducted the prosecution, pointed out that Walters’ DNA matched the DNA that was on the bullets, and the bullets were wrapped in a plastic similar to the plastic the ganja was wrapped in.
Ms. Facey-Clarke argued that the Crown’s DNA expert had agreed that there was a possibility of secondary transfer – that is, Walters’ DNA being on the hair accessories and jewelry in the basket with the bullets and then the items being touched by the officer who found the bullets.
She also pointed out that the bullets were reportedly found together in the plastic that was tied in a knot, but when he showed them to another officer, the plastic was untied. The attorney argued further that Walters’ fingerprints were not on the bullets or the plastic wrap.
As to the ammunition being capable of being used, Ms. Facey-Clarke noted an officer’s evidence that only one of the four bullets had been test fired.
The officer had explained that all four rounds of ammunition were in good condition.
Walters had no previous convictions.