Man facing trial in Spain over Gary Hutch murder may get life sentence

Killing sparked the ongoing feud between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs

Spanish police at the scene near Marbella where Gary Hutch was shot in  September  2015. Photograph: Solarpix.com

Spanish police at the scene near Marbella where Gary Hutch was shot in September 2015. Photograph: Solarpix.com

 

A man facing trial over a Costa del Sol murder which sparked the ongoing feud between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs has been told he could become the second person to be jailed for life in Spain since its return to democracy.

James Quinn has been charged with the murder of Gary Hutch and state prosecutors want him handed a life sentence if he is convicted later this year.

Hutch (34) was chased through a residential estate popular with holidaymakers near Marbella before he was shot in the head and chest on September 24th, 2015. The murder was the first in the so-called Hutch-Kinahan feud which has claimed 14 lives to date.

Quinn insists he has been wrongly identified as the gunman.

The eight-page indictment against him claims he shot Hutch on the orders of an “unknown person” after being driven to his alleged victim’s home in a gated estate in a stolen car.

It is claimed he put on a balaclava and waited for Hutch in the car park armed with two guns. “When Gary approached his vehicle moments later, the accused began to shoot at him in a surprise attack.

“Initially the victim was able to flee towards the inside of the estate but the accused chased him and fired more than 15 shots.

“Finally the accused caught up with him when Gary was on the ground and virtually motionless because of the bullets he had been hit with.

“Giving him almost no chance of defending himself, he shot him twice in the head from close range and killed him instantly.”

Illegal weapons

Prosecutors say Quinn worked for a criminal organisation which allowed him to enjoy “a high standard of living in Spain revolving around luxury homes, high-end cars and numerous trips abroad to places like Dubai and Thailand”.

“He even managed to acquire a boat valued at more than €100,000 despite having no known job or means of sustenance.”

As well as murder, Quinn has also been charged with illegal weapons possession, with state prosecutors seeking a three-year prison sentence for that crime.

They want him to pay his alleged victim’s heirs €90,000 if convicted of Hutch’s murder. He is due to be tried over five days in June.

Only one man is currently serving life in Spain, where the most someone could be held in prison was 40 years until 2015 when a controversial legal reform came into effect.