Two years for double gun possession

POSTED: 02/2/12 12:38 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Francis Widmor Brunache, 26, to 2 years imprisonment for two cases of gun possession. Urvin Laurence W., 20, who faces a similar charge, saw his case postponed because the investigation is not completed yet.
After the August 17, 2010 shooting that took the lives of Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs, detectives received a tip about a firearm stashed in a house belonging to Brunache in Fort Willem. Investigators found the weapon, and later established via DNA-testing that Brunache had handled it. It was however not the murder weapon used in the Lake and Gumbs-killings.

On October 20 of last year, Brunache was found in possession of another gun. This one, the snackbar owner had bought to protect himself and his family. He acknowledged in court that he had bought this gun and that he did not have a license for it. He denied that he had the other gun in his possession, but that he only had handled it on one occasion.
Prosecutor mr. Bart den Hartigh demanded 2 years imprisonment against the defendant, who was still on probation for a previous drugs-related conviction in 2009.
The defendant’s attorney, mr. Shaira Bommel, asked the court for leniency. “His store has been set on fire already once, he wanted to protect himself. The situation in Guana Bay where he lives is also becoming more dangerous. He made a choice for the safety of his family.”
mr. Bommel said that her client had seen the weapon that was found on August 17, and that he had held it only for a brief moment.

Prosecutor Den Hartigh pointed out that the defendant must have something with weapons. In the house in Fort Willem detectives found a Blackberry containing pictures of Brunache holding what looked like an AK-47. “That’s not for self-protection; that is a military weapon,” he said.
Judge mr. Monique Keppels considered both charges proven and followed the prosecutor’s demand.

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