PHILIPSBURG–Ronald Brunache (35), the brother of Franky Brunache who was shot and killed in Hope Estate on January 24, stood trial Wednesday on illegal firearm possession charges.
Ronald was found in possession of a Glock firearm, which was found in a cupboard drawer at his home on February 8.
He told the Judge that the gun was not his, but belonged to his deceased brother. He explained to the Court that he had found the weapon while he was clearing out his brother’s house. “I put it in a box and took it home,” he said.
He said he did not bring the weapon to the police, because he did not want to run into trouble and because he wanted the Brunache family to decide what to do with the weapon.
According to a statement, Brunache allegedly told the police that he had the gun for his protection because his brother was murdered, but the first offender denied the allegation.
In stating that a brother’s death is no reason for firearm possession, Prosecutor Luuk Bertels said he found the defendant guilty as charged, and called for the regular one-year prison sentence.
The Prosecutor pointed out that the weapon in question was loaded with 18 or 19 bullets and was ready for use. With this in mind, he called for the defendant’s immediate detention.
Attorney-at-law Shaira Bommel said her client, who is a gardener and construction worker by profession, had been naïve. “He made a mistake in taking his brother’s gun home,” the lawyer said.
She contested that her client should be sent to prison directly, and instead pleaded for a prison sentence equal to her client’s pre-trial detention, and a suspended prison sentence.
In considering that the defendant’s brother was the victim of gun violence, the Judge said there was room for a prison sentence with community service. As the Judge saw no grounds for Brunache’s immediate detention he was sentenced to nine months suspended, on two years’ probation, with 160 hours of community service.