Ryan Watson awaits fate – NBC Boston

One of three other Americans charged in the Turks and Caicos Islands will be in court Friday.

Ryan Watson of Oklahoma will be sentenced for possession of ammunition.

It comes as the island's government made an amendment to the strict gun ordinance under which Watson and the other Americans were charged.

Ryan Watson and his wife Valerie spent Thursday morning handing out Action Bibles at a Christian school in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A donation effort was started by their 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter after their father was arrested for possession of ammunition in April.

The family has donated more than a hundred Bibles to children on the island over the past two months.

“It's just been a whirlwind, ups and downs, ups and downs, that I can't even describe to you,” said Susan Fendley, Watson's mother. “He can’t wait to get back to his family, his life and his job.”

Fendley was on the islands while his son's case went to court.

Watson is one of five American tourists recently arrested on the islands after mistakenly bringing bullets in their luggage. Watson, who was arrested after a 40th birthday trip to TCI, will be sentenced tomorrow. Sharitta Grier, of Florida, and Michael Evans, of Texas, still have pending cases.

“With the events of the last few days, we definitely have more hope,” Fendley says. “We're a little more confident that things will work out well for Ryan and Sharitta. We just learned not to take anything for granted.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands legislature just amended its strict firearms ordinance, removing the mandatory 12-year minimum sentence for those guilty of firearms offenses.

Courts now have the discretion to impose either a prison sentence or a fine, or both, rather than imposing both a prison sentence and a fine for all firearms offenses , whatever the circumstances.

Bryan Hagerich, who received a suspended sentence and a fine and returned home to Pennsylvania last month, was detained on the island for 101 days. He thinks the amendment is a step forward, but says the law still poses a risk to American tourists.

“Ultimately, in my opinion, it doesn't solve a lot of the challenges with the current new gun ordinance,” Hagerich says. “The process you have to go through and how quickly, you know, for a person to have to spend three and a half months of their life, to be told by a judge that you have to be more careful when you pack next time .time. It's wild.

Hagerich says his experience in Turks and Caicos has had lingering effects on him and his family, especially his two children.

“Unfortunately, through all of this, it was basically collateral damage,” he says. “And we've done everything we can to try to maintain as much normalcy as possible. But in no way, you know, has our life gone back to normal. It takes a long time to recover emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. I mean, in every way possible, it impacted our family.

If Watson isn't sentenced to prison, he hopes to be back in Oklahoma tomorrow night and reunited with his children, whom he hasn't seen in two months.

Michael Evans will be sentenced Monday for possession of ammunition. And Sharitta Grier, who was arrested last month, will be in court next Tuesday for a plea hearing and arguments in her case.

Tyler Wenrich, of Virginia, was sentenced to prison and paid a fine at his May 28 sentencing.

Tyler Wenrich was one of five Americans arrested in the popular vacation destination for possession of ammunition, a charge that carries a mandatory 12-year sentence in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A judge found exceptional circumstances in his case. Follow NBC10 Boston on… Instagram: TikTok: Facebook: X:

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