Gang man jailed for eight years for handling gun
A violent gang member who handled a gun linked to four shootings in Pembroke has been jailed for eight years.
Kofi Dill, 32, was arrested at his residence in East Gate Lane, Pembroke, by armed police on the afternoon of December 22, 2010.
Prosecutor Cindy Clarke told Supreme Court yesterday that officers went to the scene “as a result of information received concerning a firearm”.
A Rexio RJ Serie .38 Calibre Special revolver was found 20 metres east of Dill’s residence, in a drawstring backpack on a wall. The gun was loaded with one live bullet.
Police then searched Dill’s bedroom.
“Several items were found and seized, in particular four cell phones containing photographs of firearms,” explained Ms Clarke.
Dill’s DNA was later found on the weapon. Ms Clarke said he is “known as a person who is rising through the ranks of the 42nd gang”.
She added that during police interviews: “He claimed that a neighbour left the bag bearing a similar description to the one police recovered the firearm in at his residence after they were drinking. The neighbour later returned and he [Dill] handed the bag to him.”
Dill, who has three children aged 13, 11 and one, pleaded guilty on Monday to handling the firearm. It was the latest in a long string of offences he’s racked up since the age of 16, including killing a man and participating in a gang attack that left another man in a coma [see sidebar on page 2].
The same handgun he admits handling was mentioned in Supreme Court in June during the trial of 4
2 gang member
David Cox. Cox was eventually convicted of the shooting murder of Parkside and Middletown gang associate Raymond (Yankee) Rawlins, who was killed on Court Street in August
The trial heard Cox murdered Mr Rawlins along with a second gunman, who has not been caught by the police. The second gunman used the same Rexio gun Mr Dill admits to handling, and wore latex gloves on his hands.
Police later released CCTV images of the shooting in the hope of bringing the gunman to justice.
The Cox trial heard the same Rexio revolver was also used in the attempted murder of Jeremiah Dill on October 4, 2010, on Parsons Road, Pembroke, a shooting on October 16, 2010 on Overview Hill, Pembroke and the attempted murder of Jari Fischbacher on November 24, 2010 on Spanish Point Road, Pembroke.
No mention of the gun’s links to other cases was made by prosecutor Ms Clarke during Dill’s sentencing hearing, and Dill is not charged in connection with any of those cases.
Ms Clarke recommended that Dill be given an eight-year sentence, as the maximum sentence for the crime is 17 years and he deserved a 50 percent discount for his guilty plea.
Defence lawyer Charles Richardson agreed, and added that Dill has shown “remorse” over the crime.
The prosecutor and defence lawyer discussed the case in private with Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves in his chambers before yesterday’s public court hearing. Ms Clarke handed the judge something she referred to as “exhibit one”, which she asked him to consider as mitigation, along with the fact Dill admitted the offence.
She did not detail in open court what the exhibit was and refused to comment after the hearing.
In an apparent reference to the Cox trial, Mr Justice Greaves said the same gun was also alleged to have been used in a recent “very high profile case”.
However, he said that since the prosecution were not relying on that background information, and despite “public debate”, he would not take it into account in sentencing Dill.
He went on to say that the prosecutor asked the court to take into account “any cooperation or assistance” as a mitigating factor when it came to sentencing.
Referring to Dill’s lengthy criminal history, he said he had “no right at all to be handling a firearm in Bermuda”. He then meted out the suggested eight-year punishment.
Dill was charged jointly with a woman, 22-year-old Thayja Simons, from Sandys. Ms Clarke said the Crown was “not proceeding” with the gun-handling charge against Ms Simons, who had maintained her not-guilty plea.
Ms Simons had been in custody from the time she was charged in January 2010 until Monday, when Dill pleaded guilty and she was granted bail.
The judge told her she was free to leave the court.
In a statement, Bermuda Police Service said: “The recovery of this firearm, and the sentence of Mr. Dill to a lengthy jail term makes Bermuda a safer place, and the Bermuda Police Service continues its determined efforts to make Bermuda safer for everyone in our community.
“The history of this particular firearm has been the subject of court proceedings; however the specifics of any other cases cannot be discussed at this time to protect the integrity of future court proceedings.”