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Jury unable to reach verdict on attempted murder

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A jury failed to reach a verdict on a man accused of an attempted shooting murder, but convicted him of possessing bullets.

The ten women and two man jury who heard the case against Marico Bassett spent almost five hours yesterday trying to decide if he attempted to kill Randolph Lightbourne, 44, by shooting him multiple times.

The attack happened outside the Charing Cross Tavern in Sandys around 5pm last July 23 and is alleged to be gang-related. Mr Lightbourne suffered seven gunshot wounds and spent months in hospital.

Despite Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves telling the jury he would accept a verdict upon which at least nine of them agreed, they were unable to come to a conclusion on charges of attempted murder and using a firearm.

However, they found Bassett, 20, guilty by unanimous verdict of possessing two live bullets that were discovered by detectives at an apartment near the tavern during the shooting investigation.

Bassett now faces a prison sentence on the bullet charges. Prosecutor Carrington Mahoney asked for a retrial on the shooting charges, but defence lawyer Marc Daniels objected and asked for more time to prepare legal submissions.

Mr Justice Greaves adjourned the case until April 1 when a decision will be made on whether there will be a retrial.

However, he warned the lawyers to prepare themselves for one and remanded Bassett into custody in the meantime.

During the case, which began on Wednesday March 2 , Bassett was said by police gang expert Alex Rollin and victim Mr Lightbourne to be an associate or member of west-end gang Money Over Bitches [MOB].

Mr Lightbourne told the jury he recognised him as the gunman who opened fire upon him. He said he was working for the anti-gang organisation CARTEL, and had befriended Bassett and tried to convince him to leave the gang.

Mr Lightbourne said he has family members who are in rival gangs, and MOB may have been angry because they viewed him as a snitch.

He told the jury that Bassett arrived and left the scene on a motorbike but he got a good look at his face under the helmet and visor he wore.

The accused man was arrested at his home in Sandys early the next morning. Gunshot residue was found on jeans and a T-shirt that were seized from him.

Meanwhile, two live bullets were found during a search of an apartment belonging to a woman friend of Bassett's that overlooked the Charing Cross Tavern. They were found on a shelf next to packets of drugs that had Bassett's DNA on them.

The jury convicted Bassett of possessing those bullets, which were said by the prosecution to match some of the empty shells found at the shooting scene.

According to evidence from firearms expert Dennis McGuire, spent bullets at the scene also linked the gun allegedly used by Bassett to several other shootings in Sandys.

Those included the murder of Dekimo Martin, 24, last May and 29-year-old Colford Ferguson last month.

Prosecutors suggested the gun, which has not been recovered, was a communal weapon used by various members of MOB.

Bassett did not take the stand to give evidence in his own defence but called upon his mother to do so.

Sharon Bassett said she did not know of her son being in a gang and had never seen him with a gun. She said he behaved normally when she saw him on the evening of the shooting.

Defence lawyer Mr Daniels told the jury it was a case of mistaken identity, and Mr Bassett was not the gunman.

He argued it would have been impossible for the victim to see the shooter's face under the tinted visor of the helmet allegedly worn by the shooter.

Photo by Glenn Tucker A jury failed to reach a verdict on whether Marico Bassett attempted to kill Randolph Lightbourne, but found him guilty of possessing two bullets.
A jury failed to reach a verdict on whether Marico Bassett, pictured being escorted by guards, attempted to kill Randolph Lightbourne, but found him guilty of possessing two bullets.

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Published March 11, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated March 11, 2011 at 8:59 am)

Jury unable to reach verdict on attempted murder

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