Jamaica Gleaner / Businessman Patrick Powell, who was sentenced to nine months in prison last August for failing to hand over his firearm to the police, was released last Tuesday after serving just under six months.
Joyce Stone, deputy commissioner – custodial services at the Department of Correctional Services, told The Gleaner that a third of the sentence for a first-time offender is set aside as remission for good behaviour.
Investigators had wanted Powell’s Glock pistol to help their probe into the murder of 17-year-old Khajeel Mais in July 2011. Mais was killed in a reported act of road rage in Havendale, St Andrew.
Powell’s attorney, Deborah Martin, argued that her client was in custody when the police requested his gun and that he was exercising his constitutional right to remain silent. The prosecution dismissed that assertion, stating that the right to remain silent was only activated when someone was charged.
Powell did not hand over the gun despite an order from presiding judge Vaughn Smith ahead of his sentencing. Powell was acquitted of murder and shooting with intent charges in October 2016 after the prosecution opted to offer no further evidence. The main witness testified that he did not see who fired the shots.