A jury of five women and two men returned unanimous guilty verdicts on Tuesday in the trial of Gerald Jaleel Bush, 21, and Rico Roy Walton, 29, on three charges alleging possession of unlicensed firearms.
The mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The men had pleaded not guilty, denying any involvement with the firearms, which were found by police in a black sock in the roots of what has become known as the “shoe tree” or “flip-flop tree” in South Sound in the early hours of June 25, 2017.
The pair had been seen in a boat in the sound by officers aboard the police helicopter.
Trial began on July 30 and both defendants gave evidence. Justice Francis Belle instructed jurors on the pertinent law and summarized the evidence on Monday.
The jury retired shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday and returned minutes after 2 p.m.
The foreman was asked for separate verdicts for each man on each count. On the second count, when he repeated “guilty” for Mr. Bush, this defendant made a remark about being sent to Northward and suddenly left the dock, heading down the stairs that lead to the cells. A prison guard attempted to stop him, but he pushed past.
Justice Francis Belle observed that Mr. Bush might be in contempt of court. Defense attorney Jonathon Hughes asked if he might go down and speak to his client.
The court clerk continued taking the rest of the verdicts, which were all guilty.
There was some question as to whether the men would be sentenced that day, but attorney Richard Barton, holding for Oliver Grimwood, asked for a social inquiry report for Mr. Walton, and Mr. Hughes asked for one for Mr. Bush.
Mr. Hughes asked if his client might be given the opportunity to purge his contempt.
After a brief recess, Mr. Bush came back into the dock and court resumed. Mr. Hughes commented that people involved in the trial process day to day might not always be aware of the “high emotions involved.” He said his client had had the chance to calm down and wished to remain in the courtroom for the rest of the afternoon.
Justice Belle told the defendant that the court would not tolerate any further outburst. He said Mr. Bush had gone through the trial and should have been prepared for the outcome. He said he would not take any particular step at this time, but thought it important that Mr. Bush be present.
Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran, who conducted the Crown’s case, objected to bail.
After hearing details of the objections, the judge remanded both men in custody until Sept. 20.