A 12-year-old boy appeared in Grand Court on Friday to face allegations of illegally possessing ammunition, a charge that can potentially carry a multi-year prison sentence.
“Not guilty,” the boy said in a barely audible voice after the indictment was read to him.
But instead of scheduling a date for trial by a jury of the boy’s peers, Crown Counsel Scott Wainwright said the prosecutors would not present any evidence, and a verdict of not guilty was entered. The prosecution had wanted to drop the case against him, but the boy’s name was already included in an indictment, so it had to be read and a plea had to be entered for procedural reasons.
Grand Court Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop asked the Crown to read the indictment so she could know the circumstances surrounding the case.
According to the indictment, the boy was found in possession of “some rounds” of “2022” ammunition in a bag at Lehman Scott High School on the Brac on Sept. 21, 2017.
The boy allegedly told police that another person gave him the bag to hold.
Before she let the 12-year-old Cayman Brac resident exit the defendant’s stand, Justice McDonald-Bishop cautioned him against accepting unidentified items.
“You be careful next time, you understand? Don’t take anything from anyone unless you can see what it is and know it’s lawful,” the justice advised, adding that things might go worse for the defendant next time if he’s not more cautious. “You walk carefully now.”
The boy’s case is connected to that of Brac resident Erbin Tibbetts Jr., 47, who is accused of being reckless or negligent while in possession of ammunition.
Details of the charge are that, on or before Sept. 20, 2017, within the vicinity of Sloop Way off Frigate Drive, Cayman Brac, he acted in a manner “so rash or negligent as to endanger human life or safety” in that he omitted to take proper precautions against any possible danger from a firearm – namely ammunition in his possession or control.
The charge did not specify any quantity of ammunition and no background information was provided in court.
Mr. Tibbetts Jr. is scheduled to appear in Grand Court again on Sept. 14.