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Businessman Patrick Powell has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment.

Powell, who walked away from the Home Circuit Court a free man last October after he was tried for the murder of 17-year-old Kingston College student Khajeel Mais, was convicted on July 11 for failing to hand over his licensed firearm and ammunition to the police for inspection.

The conviction meant that Powell faced up to $300,000 in fine or up to 12 months in prison.

“The court is not of the view that a fine would be a sufficient deterrent to other licensed firearm holders not to do what Mr Powell has done,” Parish Judge Vaughn Smith said before imposing the sentence.

At the time of handing down her guilty verdict, Smith said if Powell surrendered his weapon to the police it would be a mitigating factor at sentencing.

However, Powell did not take the gun to court this morning.

“We don’t have a gun to hand over today,” his attorney, Deborah Martin said. “The weapon is not in his possession.”

Powell was a suspect in the shooting of Mais and police investigators wanted his Glock pistol to do ballistic tests.

Superintendent Clive Walker testified, during the trial, that he asked Powell three times to produce the weapon, but said each time his request was ignored.

Martin, however, argued that by not responding, her client was invoking his right to remain silent.

Image result for patrick powell jamaica gleaner
Martin

But prosecutors countered, saying that right can only be invoked after an accused person is formally arrested and charged.

Powell told the court that “knowing that this matter was under investigation I exercised my constitutional right to remain silent”.

“All I did was to insist that whenever I was being questioned by the police that my lawyer was present,” he said.

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