Two witnesses told a Grand Court jury on Monday about seeing a padlocked box in a water tank outside a Cayman Brac apartment occupied by Customs officer Claude Anthony Terry. The box was opened by a senior police officer and found to contain a Smith & Wesson revolver, eight rounds of .44 magnum cartridges and a container of pepper spray, which is a prohibited weapon.
Mr. Terry, 36, was charged with possession of the items. He pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.
The owner of the apartment complex, Alva “Billy” Bodden, told the court that he was having a worker pump the water out and disconnect the tanks because the Water Authority had hooked up the apartments to a central supply.
He said the worker phoned him on Aug. 23, 2016 and told him he had found a box in one of the tanks.
When Mr. Bodden went to the apartment, he saw a box floating in the water; it had a cord on it tied to the tank top and a buoy on the line. The box was padlocked and he did not know what was in it. He said he had a Planning Board meeting to go to, which he did, and then he called Police Inspector Wendy Parchment.
When they met at the apartment, Ms. Parchment pulled the box out of the tank. Mr. Bodden phoned his store to get a padlock cutter and his worker cut the lock.
Ms. Parchment opened the box and there was a bag inside.
Somewhere around that time, Mr. Terry arrived at the scene and said, “You found my box? I found the box and put it there.”
Mr. Bodden said Mr. Terry occupied apartment 7, which the water tank was connected to. Questioned later by defense attorney Crister Brady, he said he could not remember, but he did not think the box was open when Mr. Terry came out. He did not remember if Ms. Parchment told Mr. Terry to go back inside the apartment.
He told the court he saw Ms. Parchment take a gun out of the box and say it was a .44 Smith & Wesson. He also saw gloves in the box. There were other items, but he did not recall what they were.
Shown a grey box, he examined it and said, “This could be the box.”
Mr. Bodden’s employee, Garnel Rivers, told of looking in the tank the previous Friday and not seeing any box, but then seeing it on the Tuesday.
In his opening speech to the jury earlier, Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson said the prosecution’s case would include DNA evidence. He added that Mr. Terry had named two other customs officers and Ms. Parchment as persons who might have “planted” the box and contents in the water tank.