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2 teens in court on gun charges
A 17-year-old student was granted $90,000 bail yesterday when he appeared in court to answer charges of having two homemade shotguns in his possession. His co-accused was denied bail. The student and Mac Daryl Ballantyne, 18, were remanded into custody for tracing after their first appearance in court on Monday. On Monday, only one charge of firearm possession was read to them.
Yesterday Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, presiding in the San Fernando Magistrate’s Court, said there were two charges. “I thought it was one shotgun but it is really two,” he added. The teenagers were arrested after the guns were allegedly found in a house at Lodge Road, Claxton Bay, on July 11. Ballantyne’s attorney Cedric Neptune said although his client had one pending matter for sexual intercourse with a minor in 2011, he was still entitled to bail.
Wellington, however, said he was refusing bail on the ground that Ballantyne allegedly committed this offence while on bail in another matter. He told Ballantyne he could apply to a judge in chambers for bail. Attorney Carlon Mendoza, who is representing the student, said his client had no previous convictions or pending matters. Mendoza also complained that the police took a statement from his client and had him sign it on Saturday night in the absence of an attorney or his parents.
Mendoza said he was only appointed duty counsel in the case on Sunday morning.
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