Kenroy Vanzie, who was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, walked out of Magistrate Dale Cayetano’s court free of the charges after the Magistrate upheld a no-case-to-answer submission from Vanzie’s attorney, Bryan Neal, on Wednesday.
The prosecution’s case began to unravel when the firearm, a .9mm, was not admitted into evidence because of a discrepancy with the serial number on the weapon.
In his submission, Neal told the court that there was no connection between his client and the firearm that police found on January 1, 2013.
When police found the gun, which was loaded with 6 rounds, Vanzie was in police custody, Neal submitted. He was being investigated for a robbery, and was not released from police custody until the following day, January 2.
The prosecution was also unable to prove that Vanzie had actually resided at the address where the gun was found, Neal argued. The police did not present any evidence such as a utility bill or some other document to prove that Vanzie actually lived in the yard in which the gun was found.
Police found the gun when they searched a yard on Arlington Drive and discovered it under some shrubs near a garbage-filled area of the yard. The rusting gun was wrapped in a black plastic bag.
But although the gun was found on January 1, when police searched the yard in the absence of Vanzie, they waited another 16 days before laying the two firearm charges on him. He was charged on January 18, seventeen days after police had found the gun.
In his testimony at the trial, the arresting officer admitted that there was no evidence that Vanzie personally possessed the weapon, the serial number of which did not match that on the information and complaint charge sheet.
The six rounds of ammunition that were loaded inside the gun’s magazine were tendered into evidence, but that was of no help to the prosecution’s case after Neal’s no-case submission, in which he also told the court that the gun could have been dumped at the yard by anyone.
The prosecution did not respond to Neal’s submission, thereby agreeing to his central point that his client did not have a case to answer.
Magistrate Dale Cayetano therefore released Vanzie from the charge. Police were also ordered to return a sum of money that was taken from Vanzie at the time when he was detained.