The Grand Court jury hearing firearm charges against a cruise ship passenger was discharged on Wednesday afternoon after advising Justice Michael Wood that they were not able to reach a verdict.

The four women and three men heard evidence in the case of Carol Ann McNeill-Skorupan, who had pleaded not guilty to possession of a .25 pistol and six rounds of ammunition on Feb. 3 this year.

The defendant, who had come to Cayman aboard a cruise ship, was the holder of a firearm licence in Wisconsin, US, but did not have a licence in Cayman. A piece of her luggage with the firearm and ammunition in it did not arrive with her other luggage when she arrived in Florida to board her ship. The luggage was forwarded to Cayman, the first port on the ship’s itinerary.

The question for jurors was whether they were sure she had the items in her possession – that she was knowingly in control of them.

Closing speeches in the trial were made on Wednesday morning and the judge summed up the case. Jurors began their deliberations before noon.

After the lunch adjournment, jurors were asked if they had reached a verdict on which they all agreed. The foreman said no, so Justice Wood explained that he could accept a majority verdict – one on which at least five of them agreed.

The jury retired again. After a total of three hours and 46 minutes, the foreman was asked if they had reached a verdict. He said no.

The judge then asked if there was a realistic prospect of them reaching a majority verdict if given more time without pressure.

The foreman said no again.

That being the case, the judge discharged them.

He said the matter would be listed again on Thursday, April 18, or next week to determine if a new trial will be ordered.

The defendant, 67, had been permitted to leave the jurisdiction before her trial. She was not present for it. Her bail condition had included payment of a surety in the sum of $25,000 and Justice Wood forfeited that amount.

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