A SPANISH jury has found James Quinn guilty for his involvement in the murder of Gary Hutch in 2015, ruling he was the getaway driver.
The jury gave their final verdict at 3.20pm and convicted the 35-year-old guilty of acting as a necessary participant in the shooting of the Dubliner and guilty of the possession of illegal weapons.
The nine-strong jury, of five women and four men, began deliberating yesterday afternoon.
State prosecutor, Jose Barba, had wanted to hand Quinn a life sentence under a new Spanish law, but jurors stated it had not been proven that he acted on behalf of a criminal organisation, nor was he paid for the act – meaning he cannot be handed a life sentence.
Quinn could face a total of 28 years in prison – 25 for murder and three for a second sentence for possession of illegal weapons.
He is due to be sentenced in the coming weeks.
Dubliner Hutch, nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, was shot 15 times with two close-range shots to the head on September 24 2015, after an attacker chased him twice round the pool area at the Angel de Miraflores estate in Mijas, where the victim lived.
The prosecution counsel shocked the court at the end of the fourth day of evidence, offering the jury an alternative indictment – that Quinn could be the getaway driver instead of the gunman – in a bid to increase chances of prosecution.
The murder provoked a series of at least 18 killings between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs since then.
The jury stated Quinn – acting as a driver in the ‘preconceived plan’ – and the unidentified attacker had been hiding for more than two hours in a stolen grey BMW X-3 waiting for Hutch.
Although the jury said it was not proven who the gunman was, she added they could place Quinn in the car due to a baseball cap found with his DNA on it, which was recovered from the BMW which had been set on fire following the attack.
A woman speaking on behalf of the jury said Quinn stayed inside the vehicle on the look-out during the attack, ensuring a subsequent getaway.
She added that as the attacker fled out of the residential complex, Quinn was in the car at the entrance ‘ready and waiting’.
The jury also said the charge of possession of illegal weapons was proven after a 9 millimetre Glock 26 semi-automatic pistol with Quinn’s DNA on it, was found in a box on a bedside table in the apartment where Quinn was allegedly living near Marbella.
Quinn, who was closely guarded by five National Police officers, will be taken to Alhaurin de la Torre prison today.
Before being led out of the court room by officers, Quinn shook hands with his lawyer, Pedro Apalategui, and waved at someone in the audience.
Apalategui revealed outside of court that he will be appealing the verdict at a higher court.
He added: “We completely disagree with this verdict.”