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UPDATE: Teacher & Graphic Artist plead not guilty to gun & traffic charges

Leon Leonard at the Magistrate's Court on June 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Leon Leonard, 24, of Botanic Station and Kai de Castro, 26, of Sea Cows Bay pleaded not guilty to weapons and traffic charges when they appeared before the Magistrate’s Court today, September 13, 2013.

The two men, a high school teacher and a graphic artist, are currently before the Magistrate’s Court having been charged with possession of an illegal weapon and explosives following an alleged police chase on June 14, 2013. The weapon has allegedly been identified as a Glock .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun, with nine rounds of ammunition.

Both men pleaded not guilty after being jointly charged with possession of explosives (9 rounds of .45 calibre ammunition) and carrying a firearm without a licence (Glock 45 semi-automatic pistol) at Pasea on June 14, 2013.

Leonard pleaded not guilty to throwing an object out of a motor vehicle while de Castro pleaded guilty to driving contrary to the directional flow of traffic. He offered a not guilty plea to the charge of failing to stop at the sound of a siren.

de Castro is represented by attorney at law, Richard Rowe, while Mishka Jacobs appeared for Leonard on behalf of Patrick Thompson. The Crown is being represented by Senior Crown Counsel Sarah Benjamin who was absent for today’s hearing.

Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards enquired about how the prosecution would treat de Castro’s guilty plea and Senior Crown Counsel Valston Graham indicated that all the charges will be dealt with at once during trial and the guilty plea will be dealt with subsequent to this.

The men will return to court on October 17, 2013.

See previous story posted June 17, 2013:

Teacher & Graphic Artist charged for alleged gun possession

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Two men, a high school teacher and a graphic artist, are currently before the Magistrate’s Court facing charges of possession of an illegal weapon and explosives following an alleged police chase recently. The weapon has been identified as a Glock .45 calibre semi-automatic handgun, with nine rounds of ammunition.

Leon Leonard, 24 of Botanic Station and Kai de Castro, 26, of Sea Cows Bay were not pleaded to the charges when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards today, June 17, 2013.

Police have further charged Leonard with throwing an object out of a motor vehicle while they have also charged de Castro with driving contrary to the directional flow of traffic and failing to stop at the sound of a siren.

de Castro is represented by attorney at law, Richard Rowe, while Leonard is represented by Mishka Jacobs.

Police allege that on Friday, June 14, 2013, just before 4A.M., officers of the Road Town Police Station were on patrol in a marked police vehicle in the Purcell area when they observed a white Mercury SUV approaching the roundabout from the Free Bottom area.

The vehicle, allegedly driven by de Castro who is also a teacher at the Elmore Stoutt High School, entered the roundabout on the opposite direction, proceeding in the west bound lane of the James Walter Francis Drive. Police reportedly gave chase but the vehicle did not stop, despite flashing lights and sirens.

It was also alleged that the police vehicle pulled alongside the suspects' during the chase and signalled for them to stop, but they refused. The suspects’ vehicle then proceeded to the Pasea Estate area near Delta Petroleum's service station where officers allegedly saw an object being thrown from the passenger side of the vehicle.

Police continued to pursue the suspects after stopping at the location where the object was thrown and determining that it was a firearm in a holster.

Nothing was found when a search was conducted on the suspects and their vehicle when they were apprehended. 

Police reportedly took the defendants to the area and showed them the alleged firearm, but they remained silent. They were later taken to the police station.

At the station, de Castro allegedly confirmed he is the owner of the vehicle and that he was the driver when police were pursuing them.

Leonard also allegedly told officers that he was a passenger in the vehicle when he saw the gun and became agitated when police pursued them.

During the interview, Leonard allegedly told officers that he took the weapon from the centre console and threw it through the front passenger window. He denied ownership of the gun

Leonard was granted bail in the sum of $65,000 with one signed surety, $5,000 of which will be in cash while de Castro was given bail in the sum of $70,000 with one signed surety and a $5,000 cash component. de Castro’s bail conditions include that he surrenders his travel documents and reports to the Road Town Police Station three days per week.

The men will return to court on July 19, 2013.

30 Responses to “UPDATE: Teacher & Graphic Artist plead not guilty to gun & traffic charges”

  • foxy (17/06/2013, 19:04) Like (5) Dislike (36) Reply
    mr. decastro, i shame for you.
  • vx (17/06/2013, 19:30) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    look ting
  • weed (17/06/2013, 20:14) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I feel bad for the examples of our teachers..sad sad
  • sea weed (17/06/2013, 22:46) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look how both of them embarrass them family over this soppiness eh
  • 1 (17/06/2013, 22:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    bwoy these must be the stupidest people alive, all they had to do was stop and drive i the right direction
  • Paris (17/06/2013, 22:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wait what?
  • wise up (18/06/2013, 00:47) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply

    man, these two clowns need to get l*fe in the j>>> just for being so stupid; all them doing is hotting up the place, leave them moves for the pros and keep the police out the mix;please !!!!!

  • facebook (18/06/2013, 05:19) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    My my my what was the plans for that gun?
    • wise up (18/06/2013, 07:05) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      facebbok; additional income !!!!
    • Truth (18/06/2013, 15:06) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
      Ever heard of self defense? People tired of the police only showin up when they are no longer needed and its time to call the clean up crew..... their jobs are redundant unless they are at events on guard. These guys however should not have been drivin recklessly to begin with.
      • Wanda (19/06/2013, 05:57) Like (2) Dislike (15) Reply

        @ Truth ...Bullcrap. What self defense? I've been here my whole life and never needed a gun for self defense and self defense from what. If you are not hanging with the wrong people you can still live very safe here. Tired of you all making excuses for these bums. Glad they got caught.

        • Punks (14/09/2013, 08:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          Having a gun is wrong but you need to shut the hell up. Those boys for Aaron just like to jump you for no reason. You don't have to be with no bad company for them to start. They have guns and always pulling them on people for no reason but have you ever seen them on any of these sites being charged for guns no they always get away and always sending threatening messages for people. They are set of punks hiding behind guns. They can't stand up and fight with their hands cause they are punks but they will get theirs soon
    • (13/09/2013, 13:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • liat 123 (18/06/2013, 09:19) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    deeds punk playin bad man...
  • vincy (18/06/2013, 11:04) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    these guys are that time in the morning yall should with ur woman not in a jeep with man drivin up an down d the place lookin trouble..
  • USA student (18/06/2013, 11:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This will die a natural death in the short term. We are lucky "a gun" neva run then it never get in the news.
  • my two cents (18/06/2013, 15:14) Like (1) Dislike (224) Reply
    when he father was up and down behind the NDP trying to get Fraser out he should have been training his
    • Findingmyway (19/06/2013, 12:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      When you were taking the time to type this you shoulda been doing some kinda work
  • spooks (18/06/2013, 20:00) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    God allows things to happen for reasons.....if someone was kill with that gun .
    .we wont have a clue ....they might habe go harass the getto youth .
  • . (18/06/2013, 21:39) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    A ndp child = A big break
  • Findingmyway (19/06/2013, 12:38) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Its funny how yall have so much to say cause yall weren't in the situation. Half of yall who commenting negative are the same ppl that want to smile up in there face. Chill out and back up off my bros.
  • A cry for help (19/06/2013, 16:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The sensationalizing of guns by the movie makers is not helping our youths make wise decisions. Gone are the days of jumping rope, playing jacks and Hopscotch. Welcome to the digital world – iPhones, iPads, iPods, Smart TVs, computers, X-Boxes and Play Station consoles all with capabilities of connecting to the internet. I give Kudos to the police officers for successfully getting another firearm off the streets and out of the hands of impressionable young men.

    This situation calls for the public to reach out to their politicians and the police department force to help our young people by educating them about gun violence. This summer start a boot camp for young men and channel their energy towards more positive stimulus. It takes a village to raise a child, why not start today! Thank God there was no loss of lives in this situation. Take preventative actions and not wait for a next time, because the next time may be your love ones. This case is not unique in any shape or form.

    These are two well educated young men that got caught up in making very bad decisions due to being so naïve. This is obviously a cry for help, so why not help them. Demand more from your politicians- form an alliance to save the young men of the BVI. Make demands from your leaders to do more, much more, and not continue to sit idle by and watch the future of young men diminished. Ask where the guns are coming from. These guns certainly are not being manufactured in the BVI. Who is behind smuggling these firearms into this little island? These are the real criminals that are causing destruction to this beautiful island – investigate and apprehend them!
    Never forget that the youths are our future. I leave you with these encouraging words – “By giving back you will always be rich. Ask for your purpose in life and to be used as a tool for others to learn.”

  • adelle (25/06/2013, 01:10) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    What a thing to show children that their teachers' aren't any better than the thugs out there.
  • dis funny (18/07/2013, 21:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Y 1 person face blurred? Vino wha u doing/tryin?...
  • SESS (13/09/2013, 13:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    MAN I FEEL BAD TRUST ME .AYU MAKE SATAN FOOl ayu.ayu reach so far in ayu education and now look what happen.tell me what the hell is wrong with ayu lie down and rest ayu self study ayu books ask the father to give ayu more wisdom so ayu can push the youth them.look what happen
  • question (13/09/2013, 15:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    vino why ayo hiding the decastro man is it because he from sea cows bay?
  • freed (13/09/2013, 15:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where were these guns when the amnesty was going on but then one of the boys dad is a big NDP so he will get away

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