Nevisian convicted of possession of firearm and ammunition

Merchant was accused of committing 10th January 2009 offences of “illegal possession of a firearm to wit a 45 calibre pistol”, “illegal possession of ammunition” and “shooting at with intent”.

Beginning on Tuesday, 23rd November, 2010, Merchant’s case stretched over a number of days as the prosecution team endeavoured to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that Merchant was guilty as charged. understands that according to the prosecution’s case, Merchant shot at police who were pursuing him and others, after the police’s suspicions were heightened. 

Represented by defence counsel Chesley Hamilton, Merchant maintained his innocence throughout the case and Hamilton even repeatedly suggested to the court that members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) were responsible for planting the gun that his client was alleged to have been found with. Hamilton suggested that the law-enforcement officers sought to frame his client. 

Notwithstanding however, a jury constructed of Merchant’s peers, unanimously convicted him of the gun and ammunition possession charges and freed him of the “shooting at” charge.

Merchant was remanded to prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, 17th December 2010.

Trial judge was His Lordship, Justice Henry Moore.

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