Thursday 20 September 2018

Quinn guilty of Hutch murder but he wasn't the gunman, jury decides

James Quinn will not get a life sentence for the murder of Gary Hutch
James Quinn will not get a life sentence for the murder of Gary Hutch

Gerard Couzens

James Quinn has been convicted of the murder of Gary Hutch - but a jury ruled he was the getaway driver and not the gunman.

Jurors also decided prosecutors had not proven Quinn belonged to a criminal organisation blamed for the killing, meaning he cannot be sentenced to life in prison.

At a court in Malaga, the five women and four men found the Irishman guilty of a second charge of illegal weapons possession. State prosecutor Jose Barba called on judge Ernesto Carlos Manzano to jail Quinn (35) for a total of 28 years .

But Quinn's defence team urged the judge - who is to deliver his sentence in writing - to jail him for the minimum 20 years a murder conviction carries in Spain and two years for the gun crime.

The Dubliner showed no signs of emotion as he was told of the unanimous 9-0 jury murder verdict - delivered around 2.20pm local time - by a translator.

The forewoman said the jurors were convicting Quinn of murder as a necessary participant in the brutal killing on September 24, 2015.

Gary Hutch. Photo: Mick O'Neill.
Gary Hutch. Photo: Mick O'Neill.

It had been proven he acted as a lookout and getaway driver because of a baseball cap with his DNA on it found in the stolen BMW X3 after it was dumped near the murder scene.

But she said they could not conclude he was the man who chased 34-year-old Hutch round a swimming pool at his gated estate in Miraflores near Fuengirola before shooting him dead.

Jurors also ruled it had not been proven Quinn was paid for the murder. She added: "The jury considers it has not been proven the accused was the wearer of the baseball cap the gunman changed out of before lying in wait for the victim, chasing him round the estate where he lived and killing him with two shots to the head."

She said the jury had found Quinn to be the "necessary participant" and not the gunman - even though they convicted him of murder.

Father-of-one Quinn was arrested in September 2016 after undercover police got his DNA from a water bottle he had drunk from in a Madrid train station and discovered it matched the DNA they had from the baseball cap.

Five other people were held over the Hutch killing - widely regarded as sparking the ongoing feud between the Kinahans and Hutches which has claimed at least 15 lives - but only Quinn was charged.

Irish Independent

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