James Quinn convicted over murder of Gary Hutch in Spain
Dubliner (35) found guilty of being getaway driver rather then shooter in 2015 killing
Dublin man James Quinn (pictured)has been convicted over the murder of Gary Hutch in Spain three years ago with the jury ruling he was the getaway driver rather than the gunman. Photograph: Solarpix
Dublin man James Quinn has been convicted over the murder of Gary Hutch in Spain three years ago with the jury ruling he was the getaway driver rather than the gunman.
Jurors in Malaga also decided that prosecutors had not proven Quinn was acting on the orders of gangland bosses, meaning he cannot be sentenced to life in prison when the trial judge decides on his jail term.
The four women and five men found Quinn 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 after the jury’s verdict – 25 years for murder and three years for the weapons conviction.
Quinn’s defence team urged the judge, who is expected to deliver his sentence in writing in a couple of weeks’ time, to jail him for the minimum 20 years a murder conviction carries in Spain and two years for the weapons offences.
The accused showed no signs of emotion as the unanimous verdict was delivered by a translator. He waved to a woman sitting in the public gallery after the verdict and shook his lawyer’s hand before being led away.
The jury forewoman told the court they were convicting Quinn of murder as a “necessary participant” in the killing on September 24th, 2015. She said it had been proven he acted as a lookout and getaway driver because a baseball cap with his DNA on it was found in a stolen BMW X3 that was set on fire near the murder scene.
“The jury considers James Quinn is guilty of causing the death of Gary Hutch by participating in the murder itself by performing lookout functions and helping the unknown killer to reach and flee the murder scene.”
She said they could not conclude Quinn was the man who chased Mr Hutch (34) around a swimming pool at his gated estate in Miraflores, Fuengirola before shooting him dead.
The state prosecutor offered jurors the option of considering Quinn was the getaway driver and not the gunman in a last-minute indictment he handed them on day three of the trial.
He told the court he was still seeking a murder conviction and the same life sentence even if jurors could not support his principal argument that Quinn pulled the trigger.
The possibility of a life sentence was cancelled out because jurors rejected prosecution claims Quinn belonged to a criminal organisation blamed for the killing, despite the prosecutor saying it was linked to the ongoing feud between the Hutch and Kinahan families.
Jurors also ruled it had not been proven Quinn was paid for the murder.
Defence lawyer Pedro Apalategui announced outside court that he would appeal the verdict to a higher regional court.
“We completely disagree with the verdict,” he said.