Firearm accused Terry Smith has told the Magistrate’s Court that, minutes before police raided his Butu Mountain home and found a loaded handgun, his cousin Kareem Durante had been close to the very area where the weapon was discovered.
Police claimed that they found the weapon under Smith’s bed.
While giving evidence before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards today, Smith stated that his cousin paid him an unexpected visit on the day the cops showed up.
“I was shot weeks before and he (Durante) came to visit me… He sat on the ground next to my bed.”
Smith however stated that, although he and Durante are cousins, they rarely socialise with each other.
“Kareem is not my peer [so] I was shocked that he came to visit me,” said Smith, who is being represented by attorney Stephen Daniels.
The accused testified further that at one point his cousin was left alone in the bedroom when he (Smith) stepped outside to tend to a worker who was installing a gate on the property.
He said it was around that time the police arrived and executed the search that led to the discovery of the gun and him being arrested.
Smith further told the court that, when he received bail after being charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition, he confronted his cousin.
His cousin, Durante, is now serving a prison sentence for gun possession after being convicted in another case. That case is not linked to the one now being heard.
In the meantime, the prosecution tried to refute Smith’s testimony during cross-examination.
It suggested that Smith got the illegal weapon for protection because he was shot weeks earlier.
Smith disagreed and claimed that the only ‘protection’ he had sought was a security gate, which he installed at his residence.
The defence closed its case following Smith’s testimony today.
Senior Magistrate Richards is now slated to deliver a verdict on July 19.
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