‘I am puzzled’
Lawmen stunned as judge dismisses Rytikal’s gun possession case
Police officers were left in wonderment yesterday after dancehall entertainer Rytikal, who was arrested for an illegal gun found in his rented car, was freed of gun charges.
“I am puzzled,” a senior officer, who seemed lost for word after the case was dismissed.
The 25-year-old entertainer, whose birth name is Rohan McFarlane, was acquitted by Justice Bertram Morrison, who ruled that there was insufficient evidence after being charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition last year.
It was reported that on January 28, the police were on patrol in Eight Miles, Bull Bay, St Andrew, when Rytikal was seen acting in a suspicious manner among a group of men.
A car that had been rented by McFarlane was searched and a Taurus .380 pistol and 12 rounds of ammunition were reportedly found.
Rytikal, who had reportedly told the police that the weapon was a prop for a music video, was taken into custody and later charged.
But during the continuation of the trial yesterday, the entertainer, in a sworn explanation before the court, stated that he had rented the car, which is usually parked at the studio in Bull Bay and that it was accessible by various persons.
Hence, McFarlane said, he did not know how the gun ended up in the car.
The judge later accepted McFarlane’s account as a reasonable explanation and ruled that the evidence before the court was insufficient to find him guilty.
Of note is that the prosecution had not presented any fingerprint or DNA evidence.
McFarlane’s attorney, Able-Don Foote, told The Gleaner outside the Supreme Court building that he and his client were pleased with the ruling of the court.
“From day one, McFarlane had maintained his innocence and a court properly constituted has ruled him to be so,” Foote said.
“In fact, the judge, in coming by the correct ruling, said that he is impressed by McFarlane’s demeanour and he is a young man of much promise,” he added.
An elated Rytikal was over the moon at being freed of the charges.
“There is so much ... . It’s unexplainable – the pressure and all of that. The overwhelming feeling that I have right now is unexplainable,” said the artiste, who is known for songs such as Beauty in the Struggle, Chosen, Living, Where I’m From and Cookie Jar.