Gun man gets 20 years for drive-by shooting

| 12/06/2009

(CNS): Following the guilty verdict handed down on 31 May, 2008, 21 year old Lance Justin Myles was sentenced to20 years imprisonment on Friday 12 June by Justice Leighton Pusey for attempted murder and 15 years (to run concurrently) for possession of an unlicensed firearm. The incident relates to a drive-by shooting which occurred in the School Road area of George Town in May 2008, in which the victim, Adolphus Myrie, was wounded.

In offering sentencing guidelines to the judge, crown counsel highlighted the seriousness of the offence of attempted murder, which was intent to kill, and presented other local cases where sentences in excess of twenty years have been handed down for the same offence.

During the sentencing hearing Myles’ defence, attorney Howard Hamilton, pointed out that Myles was still very young, and despite having been neglected by his father and having had no positive role model in his life, he had made attempts to better himself and had been holding down gainful employment beforehis arrest.

“This young man is at a crossroad. He is not yet lost and he can be saved. I ask the court to take a chance and not banish this young man forever,” Hamilton said, adding that while it was a serious offence the court had a wide discretion and could choose to balance justice with mercy to give the young offender some hope.

Handing down the sentence, Justice Pusey said, “It is not an easy thing to sentence a young man when so many of our young men are in places of restraint instead of contributing to society.” He said it was a shame in this instance where the offender had managed to get qualifications and find employment despite a troubled life, but he had to balance that against the seriousness of the offence. He said the punishment had to reflect that for society to understand that such offences are very serious.

He said Myles would serve 15 years for the firearms offence and 20 years for attempted murder to run concurrently and time served would be counted.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Justice needed to be served!

    Regradless on what kind of childhood you had, if you have a worthless father or not! These are the things in life that would make you want to better yourself and say to yourself that thisis NOT the person that I want to be! How you lay your bed is how you sleep in it! I’m a young teen also (19) and I see how todays society is just going down the drain with my fellow teens and its just not looking good at all! Its like each generation is just getting worst after worst! There is some teens who do good and there is some that messed up to learn. But when your name has been called in crime more than once there is no mistake there. 20yrs old? You mean to tell me that your a grown a$$ man and you need one more chance!!! Its like he took a candy out a store and "forgot" to pay for it, he tried to kill someone! Thats just not something that you didnt mean to do, alot of thought was put into this.

    Thats what happen to alot of these young kids/beginning adults these days, they expect a slap on the wrist all the time, and its the parents to blaim as well. If you’re hard on them from the time their young when they get older they’ll know what is what and what they dont want to get themselves into. After all this time AFTER you’ve committed a serious crime you’re going to realize you want change in life! LOL this is all a big joke.

    In life you have 3 options:

    1. You could succeed – Cheers for you because you have worked hard the right way and deserve nothing but the best!

    2. You can go to prison – more than half of your life is gone and its like you almost dont exist anymore.

    3. You could end up 6ft under before time & the wrong way – Theres no turning back after this.

    Cayman young people, where do you want to end up?

    Grow up and smell the roses because this is reality, you either do or you dont. When you do worng you get punished for it. When the act of good is played out you get more out of it; you get achievement, reconigtion, and your one more step to succession.

    Like I said Justice needed to be serve now hopefully the rest out there will think more than twice to do worng, take this situation as an example! But there is still some out there that needs this punishment and stop getting a slap on the wrist!


  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe that spanking is the answer to avoid having children take the wrong path, but I believe that setting a good example, giving them chores and responsibilities from a young age on would help guide them in the right direction. As far as I am concerned, there is no reason for a teenager to be hanging out all summer, they need to go and get a summer job. Also, parents need to get their children involved in some sort of activity and help them find some hobbies. The fathers need to come home after work in the evening and not go and hang out in bars. Stop buying your children brand new cars and stop co-signing on loans. Stop doing everything for them and teach them that every action has a consequence. Teach them that they have to earn their right to have privileges and make them understand that as long as they live in your house they have to follow your rules. I do not understand why all of these young adults still live with their parents instead of going out and find their own place to live, so they can learn the responsibility of paying bills and running a household. You need to realize that you are not supposed to be their friend – you are supposed to be their parent.

    At the end – you need to know for yourself that you have done all you can do to ensure that your child makes the right decisions. After that, it is time to let go and send them out in the world….

  3. Anti-violence says:


    To the poster:  Anonymous on Mon, 06/15/2009 – 10:59.

    Who said: “…….. the bible says "spare the rod and spoil the child."  I didn’t say "beat" but a proper spanking when needed would make a big difference.  It makes them tend to think twice before they do something….”


    AS an atheist I hate to point out the details of other people’s religious nonsense but it does not in fact say that — the adage you refer to comes from various different verses from King Solomon’s book of Proverbs and has emerged as that saying over the years. But the issue here is I was questioning how ‘Christian’ violence is — given what Christ said….turn the other cheek etc….The adage you are referring to comes from the old testament and is one of the many, many, many, many contradictions between the two so called historic accounts of the monotheist religions. In essence Cayman is a Christian community and should therefore if it is to live up to that, take is moral grounding from the new not the old testament …so even if you want to point out this is the reason or justification for violence towards your children and believe me spanking is still violence… it is still not a Christian message….but one from the old testament where God is indeed vengeful and violent unlike his son who seemed to a bit more of a pacifist…..

  4. Anti-violence says:


    Violence is not the answer…………….


    Violence is not the answer to any of society’s problems ever. If were are to follow the logic of the poster on Sat, 06/13/2009 – 13:40 who suggested the reason why our young men are violent is because …"They make (sic)  it a crime for parents to give their kids a good a**ing when they did wrong so that taught them it was okay to do wrong since the consequences were minor."….is that the only reason that poster is not committing violent acts we suppose was because he/she was beaten…

    Not a pleasant thought that the only thing keeping our children from crime, mayhem and violence is not enough violence.

    I disagree fundamentally and suggest the problem is not that we have not been violent enough towards our children but because we have been far too violent. Our society and those of the

    Caribbean and indeed the wider world still use violence as a solution.

    Men in particular in our community use violence to resolve all disputes between friends and family as well between each other. Children are grow up seeing violence everyday in their homes, families communities etc. and are learning this is how you solve conflict or how you get what you want.  Violence breeds violence and this is what we have done. More violence is not the answer.

    Education and tolerance are what we need as well as educated NON Violent male role models for our young men. People become involved in crime because they are disassociated from the community feel unloved, unrespected and often not safe. They either have nothing to lose or perceive they have nothing to lose. What we need to do is begin asking ourselves where the disassociation comes from and why.

    Violence is never the answer and we must find a way to stop the cycle. It never ceases to amaze me that we profess ourselves to be a Christian community but if we were to ask ourselves what Christ said about violence we all know he wasn’t too keen. I believe if each and everyone of us made the effort to stop using violence or supporting it for any reason at all ever either as retaliation or discipline and using mutual support and respect instead we would see a lot less young people shooting each other…..just a thought…


    • Anonymous says:

      You are talking about a Christian community.  Doesn’t the bible say "spare the rod and spoil the child."  I didn’t say "beat" but a proper spanking when needed would make a big difference.  It makes them tend to think twice before they do something.

  5. Anonymous says:

    GOOD Judge!

  6. Born in 1980 says:

    To the 1968-1978 generation: Don’t you realize that a lot of the young people who are deemed criminals, teenage mothers and miscreants are the product (i.e. offspring) of YOUR generation – either by being born to your own generation’s own teenage parents or at the least watching YOUR example or being neglected by your generation?

    Just a thought: Perhaps we see so many problems today because your generation (which you paint as incredibly self-righteous, but which I will ignore) was so focused on developing their careers etc that they forgot to mentor and help instill values in those coming up under them? Just a thought. 

    But this is not about laying blame and pointing fingers. Until we appreciate that we have chosen economic development and investment over social development and investment, until we say enough is enough and actually take that  wayward (or even promising) young person under our wings and actually do the hard work of parenting and supporting a child that may not even be ours, we remain part of the problem. 

    I am so tired of the rants about "these young people". They are OUR young people. OUR babies, our brothers, our sisters, our young people.

    The point is – this is our community and we all need to do our part. Stop looking for someone else to do the hard work of investing in our youth and do YOUR part, however small or large. And for goodness’ sake, follow through..

    And by the way, its not just about developing or rehabilitating our young men. This is also about our young ladies – our entire community.

    I was born in 1980 and I know that I am part of problem, but more importantly, I know that I am part of the solution – do you?

  7. Anonymous says:

     A question for the criminal lawyers out there: Is there early release here?  When the judge says 20 years (ignoring the credit for time served), will the convict really be in prison (full custody) until June of 2029? Or will he be granted day parole, early release, go to a half-way house, or whatever? 

  8. The 1968 - 1978 cayman generation says:

    what the heck happen after 1978 i surely would like to know. we had some good men around those days that raised sons to now be hardworking, law abiding decent young men whom are all today leading positive lives, either as entreprenuers, heads of departments, lawyers, etc.

    the difference between then and now….. 1985 onwards a downward spin resulting in disaster in the family unit so….

    if anyone out there thinks this will serve as a lesson are only fooling themselves. this young man like alot of our young men in TODAY’s generation are continuing to associate themselves with certain ‘groups"  or gangs or whatever you want to call them that have absolutely no care in the world for law and order. their only regret is getting caught and even when this happens they use threats and intimidation to continue to lead despicable lives. take my word for it. His idol is sitting at HMP serving 22 years along with several others in this same "group" whose only regret was getting caught. So don’t get your hopes up on any lesson being learnt here. My advice to all parents out there is, if you have a son ensure his father has a positive influence in is life, because if not, i can gurantee there are some people out there that will surely like to do the opposite and they are just waiting to recruit to replace this one who has just been sent to prison. on a positive note, there are still alot of good young men in cayman, most of whom have all had the benefit of positve infleunce from a father.

    • Anonymous says:

      You asked what happened.  They make it a crime for parents to give their kids a good a**ing when they did wrong so that taught them it was okay to do wrong since the consequences were minor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad that we can throw one of these criminals behind bars.  One down and many more to go. 

    We as society have given all these punks chance after chance to better themselves and all they do is get out at night and cause trouble. 


    I hope this is a lesson to all the other criminals out there that our courts will convict you and throw you away for a long time.  He will be alot older and wiser when he gets out of jail.  In a supervised environment he will have his chances.  Obviously his chances outside of jail does not work so lets see how prison does him.



  10. Anonymous says:

    "How can any lawyer talk about how this young man was trying to better himself when he thought he had the right to drive around with an illegal firearm and shoot at people he hated."

    Let’s be clear as to the role of defence counsel: it is to put before the court all defences, advise the court on all factors mitigating the offence, and provide the court with full information about the positive attributes about the offender so that they can be considered against the negative attributes described (quite properly) by the prosecution, and the facts underlying the conviction.  The judge’s role amongst others is to balance the needs of society against the level of guilt of the convict. This cannot be done if no one shows up for the defence. 

    This is all to ensure that the right person is convicted of the right offence and given the right sentence for the circumstances.  Rather important stuff, that.

    Being defence counsel is not a fun job, but be thankful that people are willing to do it.  Without them, there really would be no justice in the criminal justice system (noting that the same is true if there were no prosecutors or fair-minded judges).  Do not belittle the defence bar for their invaluable service to the ends of justice; be thankful that they are willing to play a role that is often distasteful. 

    Remember that if they were not there, innocent people, presumably like you, would be convicted for offences they did not commit (even presuming the good faith of the prosecution and judge), and the real offenders would go free to move in next door to where you live.  That is the result of a system that relies upon the adversarial process to determine truth, if no one shows up for the defence.  The prosecution stands to win, even if the accused is innocent. The court cannot consider evidence not told, or arguments that are never made.  Police and prosecutors are not perfect – they are just people.  Innocent people do get arrested, charged and unfortunately convicted.  Balance is needed to achieve justice, and there enters the defence bar.

    The fact that the criminal justice system works at all requires that both sides put everything they have before the judge, so that the judge makes a decision based on all the facts, not just the ones that put the accused/convict in the box in the courtroom in the first place. 

    Compared to the typical accused, the state has vastly superior resources to bring to bear against an accused: an entire police force, crime labs full of technicians, the ability to interview anyone they please with that police force, an office full of attorneys (the AG’s office), a comparatively unlimited budget, and worst of all, a presumption by the public that if a person is arrested they are guilty.  Against that stands a defence lawyer, whose job it is to try to balance the scales and bring truth to the courtroom.  If they don’t show up, the overwhelming power of the state can, ever accidentally, crush an innocent person.

    I have my personal views as to various accused who are pending trial.  Rage is part of those views sometimes.  I have to say though that I will feel good about their conviction only if the trial is fair and the right person is convicted of the right offence and given the right sentence for the circumstances, and that requires someone to stand beside that person that we all presumptively hate.  Being that person – that takes guts.  Respect that person.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done Justice Pusey! That’s what him and his damn friends need.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I hope tis will be a lesson to other young people who have a gun and feel that they have the right to shoot at anyone,especially in a  cowardly drive by. Perhaps the judge should have made the sentences consecutive instead of concurremt.

    How can any lawyer talk about how this young man was trying to better himself when he thought he had the right to drive around with an illegal firearm and shoot at people he hated.