Lone witness not enough to convict in gun case

| 17/05/2012

(CNS): A grand court judge found 21 year old Jovin Omar Fuentes not guilty of possession of an imitation firearm after a judge alone trial earlier this month.  With only one witness testifying that he had seen a gun during an altercation outside a Bodden Town bar and no other evidence presented by the prosecution, the judge gave the benefit of the doubt to the defendant. Aaron Chisholm told the court that Fuentes came after him with a .38 revolver as he hid behind bushes close to where the two men had fought in the Everglo bar car park. Fuentes admitted assaulting Chisholm but denied having a gun.

Although Chisholm, who had been drinking on the night, was accompanied by three other friends at the time of the fight none of them had seen a firearm and Justice Alex Henderson said the crown had not provided any corroborating evidence for Chisholm’s account.
No gun was ever found at Fuentes home despite police going to the address where he was living within hours of the fight and the defendant denied owning a gun.

Fuentes did plead guilty to assault as he admitted starting the fight outside the bar. Having already served almost seven months on remand as he had been in custody since the incident which took place in October last year Fuentes was giving  two years’ probation by the judge and released from custody.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The courts should forever be vigilant and avoid succumbing to the temptation to lower their standards to accommodate less than adeqaute investigatory and/or  prosecutory efforts.  As crime increases the pressure is palatable, but it is better to improve the police and legal dept than for the courts to give unwarranted convictions.

    The new Judicial Commission needs to always keep an eye out for possible collusion as well, as the temptation to do so could increase as parties get frustrated with a lack of success. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Eyewitness testimony based on Visual Memory is the least reliable evidence in any court of law.  It is madness that our crown prosecutors lack the understanding of a high schooler in this regard, and continue carry these futile cases to trial.