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Blast at CAS

December 8, 2012 permalink

In a party game one player gives an improbable story, challenging his opponent to add a fact so it makes sense. Example:

A man walks into a bar and asks for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at the man. The man says thank you and walks away.

For today's real life version of the puzzle, David Hutchins, a man unhappy with CAS, found a loaded shotgun and carried it on a Windsor street. A policeman arrested him and he was sentenced to three years. The judge said the mandatory sentence was unfair, and Hutchins really needed mental health treatment.

In the sample game, the man had hiccups. What is the fact that causes the Windsor story to make sense?



Man with shotgun gets three years

A 39-year-old Windsor man with mental health issues was sentenced Friday to three years in prison - the mandatory minimum - for having a loaded gun he found, a punishment his lawyer and even the judge suggested was too severe.

David Hutchins pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded shotgun on a Windsor street May 4, when police - acting on a tip that he had sent a text message indicating that he may be suicidal and upset with the local Children's Aid Society - arrested him.

Because the gun was a loaded prohibited weapon, Ontario Court Justice Guy DeMarco sentenced Hutchins to three years in prison, as the law requires, but suggested his hands were tied and that the punishment might be unduly harsh.

DeMarco recommended that Hutchins, who had no prior criminal record, receive psychological treatment while incarcerated.

"The tragedy is that there is a mandatory minimum, and this person is mentally ill," Hutchins's lawyer Christina Sweet said after the sentencing.

"The mandatory minimum isn't going to help him.

"I believe you could accomplish more by having him in the community where he's got a treatment order that ensures he's taking his medications on a regular basis."

Assistant Crown attorney George Spartinos, who read in the facts, told the court that Hutchins said he found the shotgun in a black bag on May 2 at the Ford Test Track.

Around 12: 30 a.m. May 4, Hutchins texted his wife to say he wanted to talk, that he wasn't thinking right, and to tell their children he loved them.

He also said the CAS was going to get "a blast."

Police found him at about 3 a.m. walking eastbound on Assumption Street at Moy, about three blocks from the CAS building.

Officers asked if he had a gun and he said he did, in his backpack. The gun had two shells in the chamber, while Hutchins had a clear plastic bag with three more shotgun shells.

He was arrested without incident.

"He was remorseful. He was not himself when that happened," Sweet said. "He wasn't taking his medications.

"But he was assessed and found fit to stand trial."

Sweet said her client, a father of two who works in construction, indicated that he actually was glad police stopped him, since he thought he might hurt himself.

But she considers the punishment disproportionate to the crime.

"A mandatory minimum undermines the ability of judges to use their discretion," Sweet said.

"Not everybody fits a stereotype. He's a really great guy. He really is."

Source: Windsor Star