Editor’s note: The original subheadline contained an error which stated the defendant had pleaded guilty to possession of BB gun. He pleaded not guilty to the BB gun possession, but did plead guilty to importation and possession of a 9mm handgun.

An American citizen charged with firearm offenses was bailed on Thursday so that he could travel to Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma’s anticipated impact there.

David Dean Meadors, 52, first appeared before Justice Marlene Carter in her chambers on Wednesday, when he pleaded with the court to let him go back to Florida to safeguard his family, property and business from the looming hurricane, defense attorney Ben Tonner explained.

The judge considered the matter overnight and agreed to vary Meadors’s bail conditions to allow him to leave the island Thursday afternoon.

Before bail was discussed, Meadors entered pleas to the charges against him. He pleaded guilty to importation and possession of a Glock 9mm handgun in Cayman Brac without the required licenses on or before July 7, 2017. He pleaded not guilty to importation and possession of 240 rounds of 9mm ammunition, also on or before July 7.

A fifth charge was possession of an unlicensed Smith & Wesson BB gun at his Brac residence the same day.

As previously reported, the ammunition was discovered when a container was being checked by Customs officers at the site where the defendant was building a home for his planned retirement. The discovery and subsequent interview led to finding the guns.

In open court on Thursday, Mr. Tonner said Meadors had traveled from Cayman Brac on Wednesday and had surrendered his electronic monitoring device. He proposed to return to the Brac via Grand Cayman on Sept. 17.

Crown counsel Scott Wainwright objected to bail because of the danger Meadors would not return. Having pleaded guilty to importation and possession of a firearm without the required licenses, Meadors was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years.

“I know the defense will say exceptional circumstances apply,” Mr. Wainwright continued. He indicated he would disagree. Most importations of unlicensed firearms are inadvertent, he pointed out. In this case, Meadors had told police that he and his wife traveled by boat and he would be uncomfortable without a weapon in international waters. Mr. Wainwright said someone facing seven years would have every reason not to return.

Justice Carter said she was minded to grant the application to vary bail to allow Meadors to travel on Sept. 7 and return Sept. 17. She ordered that the charge on Meadors’s Brac property be increased from $200,000 to $400,000. His travel documents were to be returned to him and he is to surrender them by Sept. 19 and be refitted with the electronic monitor by Sept. 20.

“Your counsel has persuaded me to allow you to travel for this specific purpose,” the judge told Meadors, who expressed his thanks.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. No mention of where in Florida this man lives and whether he has absolutely no relatives who can act for him in Florida.
    The odds of him returning here on Sep 17 are about the same as Irma making a U turn and heading directly for the Brac.

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    • I can’t imagine anyone wanting to live in a place where attempting to be in a position to protect yourself could get you thrown in prison for 7 years. From the responses there are at least 6 supporters of this madness.

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  2. The only sort of country that would have a mandatory 7 year prison sentence for importing a gun for his/her personal protection is either an authoritarian African dictatorship or British. In either case they like to have their citizens at the mercy of criminals. Sad!!!
    I hope he is wealthy enough to not come back and tell the Cayman Islands to take his property and place in the personal places where the sun does not shine, of the people who support laws like this.
    There is only one free country left is the world. If you are forbidden to have the means to protect yourself, you are not free.

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    • I think that Mr Moore has a good point here . Maybe the Government of the Cayman Islands should come out of the 50’s mentality and get into the 21st century with gun Laws . If you look at what is happening today , the guns and criminals are not being taken of the streets and criminal are robbing innocent people who are not and cannot be be legally armed to protect themselves .

      What convicted criminal got 7 years for possession of a gun ? Then the bail doubled could say some else about gun possession Laws .

      I think that criminals would be hesitant to try to rob someone knowing that they could be armed , if not then the criminal would learn something .

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