A Grand Court jury chosen on Monday, March 11, was formally discharged on Friday, March 15, after Justice Marlene Carter said she had determined that the trial would not proceed any further.
Jurors had begun hearing evidence in the case of three men charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and 49 rounds of ammunition which prosecutors said had been found inside packages of ganja the defendants were bringing to Grand Cayman in a Jamaican canoe.
Assad Walker, Owen Reid and Fitzroy Ottey all admitted their involvement in the importation of the illegal vegetable matter on the night of March 2, 2018. They denied any knowledge of the firearm or bullets, as well as 101 grams of cocaine they were also charged with.
Crown counsel Garcia Kelly opened the prosecution’s case on Wednesday and called as his first witness a police officer who explained how the ganja packages were recovered. After Kelly called his second witness, defence attorneys asked to speak to the judge in the absence of the jury.
Discussions continued on Thursday, with attorneys Amelia Fosuhene, Jonathon Hughes and Prathna Bodden raising points to which Kelly responded.
In announcing her ruling on Friday morning, Justice Carter thanked the jurors for their service, noting that they had been very patient.
The judge said no gag order was being imposed on the media, but she asked that reporters not divulge any details at this time.
She set Friday, March 29, for the next mention of the matter, in the hope that a new trial date could be fixed then.
The men were remanded in custody, as they have not yet been sentenced for the ganja importation offence.