Former immigration staffers Stephen Wayne Hurlston and Oscar Lee Watler appeared in Grand Court Thursday to appeal their 2018 sentence for possessing 1.61 pounds of cocaine with intent to supply.

Hurlston and Watler were convicted last May and sentenced to 12.5 years in August. Defence attorneys Norman Hill and Steve McField are appealing both the sentence and the conviction.

The appeal of the sentence may involve a computational error made at some point in the process, the attorneys said. They believe the defendants should have been sentenced to 11.5 years, not 12.5. Justice Michael Wood said that he would hear the specifics of that appeal after he has ruled on the appeal of the conviction.

Hill told Justice Wood on Thursday that he had just received paperwork on the case Wednesday afternoon and would like to confer with his clients before deciding how to proceed. Justice Wood adjourned the case and ruled that he would hear an appeal of the conviction on April 29.

Justice Wood indicated that he will consider the case on April 30 and render a judgment on May 1. At that point, the defence counsels could press an appeal of the sentence, if necessary.

Watler and Hurlston were allegedly caught by police in October 2015 while parked in a secluded lot near Patrick’s Island. The responding police officer testified at trial that he found the defendants in the vicinity of multiple packages of cocaine along with a scale and a razor blade.

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