Two found guilty for Shanty Town shooting

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Two men have been found guilty of the 2013 Last Lap shooting which left Judith Wynter, an elderly woman, paralysed from the chest down and bedridden.
Shelton “Demon” Hunte and Trevorn “Speedy” Francis, who shot the woman while trying to kill each other at the East Bus Station (Shanty Town), could be jailed for up to 35 years.
After four-and-a-half hours of reviewing the evidence from the trial led by prosecutor Adlai Smith, the jury of 12 unanimously found Hunte guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm to endanger life, shooting at Francis with intent to murder him, and wounding Wynter with intent to murder Francis.
And Francis, who also had a gun on the night of the tragic incident, was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. This offence carries a maximum of 10 years in jail.
Additionally, the jury found him guilty of shooting at Hunte with intent to murder him, and wounding Wynter when he was trying to murder Hunte. For this offence, a convict can be jailed for a period not exceeding 35 years.
Adrian “Ugly” Shand, the third man who was charged, was found not guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and not guilty of shooting at Francis with intent to murder him.
On August 7, 2013, while at the East Bus Station at approximately 8:30 p.m., in the area known as Shanty Town, Hunte and Francis were engaged in a shootout and Wynter, who was 62 years old at the time, was caught in the crossfire.
During the trial, prosecuted by Crown Counsel Adlai Smith, the court heard that while walking in the vicinity of the Bus Station, Francis kept using a derogatory term to refer to someone who was wearing a yellow shirt.
Thereafter, Hunte grabbed Francis, punched him, and then pulled a gun.
Immediately, Francis also pulled out a gun and both Hunte and Francis began shooting at each other.
They wounded each other as well as Wynter, who was only a few feet away sitting down at a nearby shop.
The medical evidence revealed that she was shot through the spine and became paralysed. Francis then escaped to the Country Pond area where approximately 13 shots were fired at him. He sustained injuries to both legs.
The only evidence that the prosecution had tying Shand to the shooting at Country Pond was his confession to a friend, Takuma Forde, that he, Shand, shot at Francis.
However, because Shand had threatened Forde, Forde was unwilling to give evidence at the trial. After contested legal arguments, the prosecution was allowed to read to the court the record of Forde’s evidence.
This was done under the Evidence Act, which allows the crown to do so in circumstances where the witness is kept away from the proceedings as a result of threats of bodily harm.
Neither Hunte, Francis nor Shand mounted a defence at their trial.
They are to be sentenced on April 20.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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