Chief Magistrate Her Honor Tamara Gill, who presides over the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court has imposed a $15, 000 fine on Lance Aux Epines resident, Tyrone Edwards, who pleaded guilty last week Friday to firearm and drug related charges.
Edwards, who has spent the last 3 weeks on remand at the Richmond Hill Prison, is facing a prison sentence of 6 years if he fails to pay the money within the next 6 months.
Accompanied by his lawyer, criminal defense attorney, Peter David, the accused pleaded guilty to charges of being in possession of a Ruper firearm without a license, possession of 7.380 caliber ammunition without a license and trafficking of 8.5 ounces of marijuana, valued at approximately $1, 204.
Police investigators made the discovery while executing a search warrant at his home on July 12.
Edwards, who has 3 previous convictions, was arrested and charged in connection with a shooting incident that took place on July 8 in the vicinity of the Sugar Mill round-about in Grand Anse.
Approximately 3 months ago, he was convicted of similar charges, being in possession of a firearm and ammunition in relation to a shooting incident that occurred in the same area.
Edwards had appeared before Chief Magistrate Gill, who imposed a $4, 000 fine on him to be paid in 4 months and in default serve a 15-month prison term for possession of a firearm and $2, 000, and in default serve 12-month in prison for possession of ammunition.
When he appeared early last month before the court on the new charges, Magistrate Gill expressed disappointment that he was before her again in such a short space of time for similar offenses.
“I cannot believe you are back before me again on similar charges,” she proclaimed before remanding him to the prison.
In mitigating his client’s case during last week Friday’s sentence hearing, Attorney David offered the court an explanation that Edwards “got the weapon for his own safety (following) earlier altercation that went on for a while with another individual.”
He indicated that his client is in a position to pay a fine for the offenses committed and requested a non-custodial sentence.
“It is my view that he has not reached the threshold for a custodial sentence,” Attorney David said, as he drew the court’s attention to the facts of the case, that the weapon was found at Edward’s home.
The attorney also pointed out that the prosecution did not bring forward any evidence that the weapon was used to endanger anyone.
“I think he (Edwards) understands the future implications (of his actions) and I hope that he wouldn’t do anything that would bring him back before the court,” he further said.
In handing down the sentence Magistrate Gill warned Edwards that he “can’t keep coming back before this court for guns and expect to walk free.”
Edwards is also facing a charge of wounding, for which he was granted $6, 000 bail with 1 surety.
His next court date has been scheduled for November 16.