General — 05 July 2011 — by Aaron Humes
A complicated story has emerged from the courts, as a family of seven, including three minors, and two other men, have been charged for four 12-gauge cartridges found at their residence on Neal Pen Road on Friday, July 1.
A man claiming to be the owner of the ammunition has come forward to take responsibility, but has not been charged for the ammunition because he was not at the residence at the time the others were taken to the police station.
But he is in police custody at press time tonight, because, after failing to get the ear of the magistrate hearing the case, he broke three glass louvers at the court building and is facing a charge of damage to property.
Yvonne Myers, 50; her daughter Melanie Myers, 31; sons Alrick Olivera, 24, and Kenrick Olivera, 22; Byron James, 22; and Albert Bowen, 20, along with two 16-year-old male minors and a 14-year-old female minor, also children of Mrs. Myers, all appeared in the #7 Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Aretha Ford this morning.
They were each read a single charge of “kept unlicensed ammunition,” to which they pleaded not guilty.
However, the individual who claims to own the cartridges (whose name we withhold since he has not been charged as of press time) which police discovered in two plastic bags under a septic tank, was in court today and addressed the Magistrate, stating that he wanted to take responsibility for the find.
The magistrate told him that since he has not been formally charged, he could not plead guilty.
The case was adjourned for this afternoon, when one of the accused, Alrick Olivera, indicated that he would take the rap for everyone else, but he wanted time to think about it.
Magistrate Ford explained that the charge carries a minimum sentence of three years and maximum of five.
Olivera maintained that he wanted to plead guilty because he did not want his brothers and sister to go to jail, but the magistrate said that in her view, that was not a good enough reason, and changed his plea to an equivocal plea of not guilty.
All were remanded into custody until July 25, 2011, as bail is not granted at Magistrate’s Court level in the first instance for charges such as these.
The person claiming responsibility said he visited the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions today to explain and was told that they would get back to him. The family is also seeking legal representation to apply for bail at the Supreme Court, which must be done within 14 days, or the accused remain behind bars for the three-month minimum before the Magistrate’s Court can grant bail.
Under amended provisions in the Firearms Act, all persons found on a premises with a firearm and/or ammunition that has not been licensed can be arrested and charged, and convicted unless they can prove they had no knowledge of the presence of the firearm/ammunition.