Gangster guilty over gun

| 01/11/2012

(CNS): A West Bay man whom police suspect is a member of a local gang has been found guilty of possession of an unlicensed firearm and now faces a minimum jail term of ten years. Aaron Crawford, who turned 20 just a few weeks ago, is looking at a decade in HMP Northward after he was convicted of being armed with a Luger handgun by Justice Charles Quin following a judge alone trial in connection with an incident which occurred last November. Crawford was seen throwing a handgun into the bushes while he was chased on foot by an armed cop after his car crashed on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

As he read his verdict on Wednesday afternoon, Justice Quin said the case "stands and falls” on the evidence of the RCIPS uniform support officer who chased Crawford after his car had crashed into the barrier along the highway near to the Island Heritage roundabout in the early hours of 17 November.

In his evidence the officer had described seeing the weapon in Crawford’s hand as he tried to make his escape. He said the defendant ran with the weapon in the way an athlete would run holding a baton. The cop said he then saw Crawford throw the silver coloured hand gun into the bushes and watched it rotate in the air before he caught up with him and arrested the defendant. The weapon was later discovered by other officers in a search of the area where the USG officer said he had seen Crawford toss the gun.

Despite a catalogue of bungles by the RCIPS in the case, which included a gunshot residue swab taken from Crawford never being sent for analysis, crime scene photographs that appeared to show that the ammunition for the weapon had been moved, inconsistencies over what happened on the night between officers and other issues with the custody record, the judge said the evidence of the officer who chased Crawford was the crux of the matter.

Justice Quin found the officer’s evidence to be “clear and unequivocal”, despite vigorous cross examination. The judge said he did not think the USG cop was mistaken in what he saw that night and believed he had given an accurate description of the incident.

Pointing to what he described as other supporting evidence, including Crawford’s indication when he was finally arrested that his passenger, Jordon Bush, had a gun, that he had tried very hard to evade police, as well as the fact that a complaint had been made earlier in the evening by another witness that Crawford had threatened him with a handgun, the judge said he believed the defendant was “guilty as charged”.

Justice Quin also noted, in line with changes to the law, that Crawford had not given evidence in his own defence, even though the crown had produced enough evidence for a case to answer. This meant the judge could lawfully draw an adverse inference from the defendant’s silence.

Following the judge’s verdict Crawford was remanded in custody to HMP Northward and a social enquiry report was ordered ahead of his sentencing, which is set for January next year. Crawford is looking at a minimum of ten years behind bars as a result of the mandatory sentence attached to firearms possession.

Although only 20 years old, Crawford is no stranger to the prison system, having been arrested when he was just 17 years old and held on remand for the murder of Alrick Peddie for more than a year after his arrest in April 2010. However, he and two other men, Jose Sanchez and Roger Bush, were acquitted of the West Bay murder, which occurred in broad daylight in the victim’s family yard in Willie Farrington Drive in March 2010. But Crawford’s freedom was short lived as he was arrested and held on remand once again less than five months after his murder acquittal in relation to this case.

Following the verdict, Crawford’s defence counsel said he would be filing an appeal on behalf of his client as a number of questions remained unanswered in the case, regarding the weapon, which was WWII model, nine millimetre, semi-automatic Luger.

According to forensic evidence, there were no DNA or finger print matches to Crawford on the weapon, and he had no gloves in his possession when arrested. Although there was a mixed profile of DNA on the gun, which experts said could include at least two other people, Crawford was excluded from them all. There was, however, a positive DNA match from the weapon to another third party who has previous convictions for firearms offences and is also known to police as a man with gang affiliations.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    10 years of his life GONE boss, time is one thing you cant get back – all you young bloods out there, dont do the crime if you cant give away / do the time.



    • Anonymous says:

      Shame it is not 20 years.  Sadly it will be lucky if it is 4.  10 years should mean 10 years solitary, not 4 years writing fiction glamorizing criminals.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If they think he is a gang member, how about charging him with that too. It's not too late.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why glorify them with the title 'Gangster' ? How about "Another stupidass idiot boy found guilty over gun" I believe this is more fitting.

  4. Power of the People says:

    Thank goodness there was one redeeming factor in this case that the judge was able to latch onto for a conviction, because, from the sound of it – the dadgum police tried everything in their power to make sure this thug got away with it.

    Never set foot in a police academy a day in my life, but I've watched a good many episodes of CSI and other such crime shows and, while I proclaim no level of expertise, I am now fully educated in what NOT to do to a crime scene.

    I am assuming that our policemen and women have at least set foot, if not completed a rigorous and challenging educational course on how to be a good policeperson. So it baffles my mind that so many cases – of very deadly and serious situations mind you – have been thrown out of court for problems in the case brought on by the incompetence and lack of due care and diligence from the police themselves. Even for this particular gangster, who dodged a prison sentence a few short years ago.

    Kudos to the policeman who brought him down this time with a simple attentive eye to detail – as he saw the weapon being discarded. If not for that, this little hooligan punk would still be out and about and likely kill someone (again?).

    If I were in a position to make it so, I would recommend that the researchers and script writers of CSI receive an official invitation to come down and speak to our officers to offer some helpful tips on what, how, when and why…clearly we need help and clearly Hollywood has the pool of experts as their crimes are always solved and they never make mistakes!

    Come on RCIPS! You have a problem. We all know it. It's been festering for a while. We, the public you are sworn to protect and serve are calling an intervention before we cry for a vote of no confidence.

    Get it together!

    • CaymanFisting says:

      You say you’ve never set foot in a police academy a day in your life…….have you ever set foot in a Cayman police station? If not I encourage you to watch the TV show Reno 911 on Comedy Central because the amount of incompetence is indistinguishable

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bet he will appeal.  There is a ridiculous waste of costs on appeals in Cayman.  Almost every gangsta tries to get away with it on appeal.  I have never known a country with such a high rate of attempted appeals from trial.  We really need to change the law so that those who unsuccesfully appeal have an increase in their sentences.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Excellent…time these low life wannabees got a proper jail sentence…BUT..he'll be out in 3 years.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great another idiot who just caused us a bunch of legal costs and we will be paying for him in prison for the next 10 years! Thanks buddy!

    • Anonymous says:

      So you would prefer him to be free and still running around with his gun? I hope you and/or yours are not one of the next victims. Get real and get these idiots off the street.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry it will get reduced just like the other gun charge was

  8. Anonymous says:

    Whoa that’s gangsta!

    Another Loser…zzzzz

  9. Anonymous says:

    Judge Quinn is a fair and honest judge.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Judge Quinn, lets clean this country of these scum bags.