By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 21-year-old man who claimed he pocketed a pistol he found in bushes was yesterday sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to illegal firearm and ammunition possession.
Jarvis Joseph was accused of being in possession of an unlicensed silver and black Taurus pistol, along with nine unfired rounds of .9mm ammunition on August 30.
He admitted to both offences during a hearing before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt and was sentenced to two years at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
The court was told when officers searched the defendant around 11.05am on the day in question, they discovered the loaded weapon in his front right pocket. Joseph was subsequently arrested and taken to a nearby station. In an interview with police there, he said the firearm belonged to him.
However when given an opportunity to speak yesterday, Joseph told the magistrate that he saw a man drop the weapon in some bushes in a yard he was standing in that day. He claimed he thought the item the man dropped was money, but when he found it, it turned out to be a pistol. Joseph said the “same time” he placed the gun in his pocket, officers arrived and searched him. He insisted he only took the firearm because he wanted to see if he could sell it to “try and make money off of it”.
Yesterday, Joseph was also charged with the attempted murder of Vernal Johnson on August 7. The prosecution alleged Joseph had a firearm which he intended to use to endanger Mr Johnson’s life that same day.
The defendant was not required to enter a plea to these charges and the matter was adjourned to November 3 for service of a voluntary bill of indictment (VBI).
He was remanded to prison in the interim.