De Kuyper gets new court date in NYC
New York City — A Manhattan judge has scheduled a new hearing date for Lewes resident John Scott de Kuyper, who was charged last year with taking a weapon into a New York City court building.
Judge Lisa Sokoloff set a new hearing Wednesday, March 13.
Court officers said that they were exploring a resolution in the case and that a grand jury will continue to review the evidence.
Both de Kuyper and his attorney, Andrew St. Laurent, a partner at Harris, O’Brien, St. Laurent & Houghteling LLP, declined comment following their court appearance.
The weapons charge stems from a court date nearly a year ago, Feb. 22, 2012, when de Kuyper entered a Manhattan courthouse with a leather packback that was sent through the courthouse x-ray machine.
The backpack was found to contain a Colt .45-caliber revolver and five bullets in a side pocket. De Kuyper, 53, said he never intended to bring the gun into the courtroom and called the whole incident a mistake.
“That’s what I get for spending the night before court at a New Jersey rest stop,” de Kuyper said at a June 21, 2012 court appearance. “I was tired and disoriented and didn’t remember the gun was in my bag before I went to court.”
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Hayward said that the gun in de Kuyper’s backpack was purchased legally, but de Kuyper did not have a permit to carry it in New York. De Kuyper gave the police access to his phones and cells, and permission to search his home; no other weapons were found.
“He packed the gun to bring to New York but forgot to take it out of his bag before coming to the courthouse,” Hayward said. New York does not have reciprocity for gun permits.
De Kuyper’s former attorney, Gideon Oliver, told the press in earlier interviews that his client had received chemotherapy for stage IV thyroid cancer and continued to take medication, including high doses of Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone that affects mood, memory and functioning. Oliver suggested the medication could have caused de Kuyper to forget the gun was in his backpack.
New York gun laws are very strict, making any concealed carriage outside of one’s home or business a violent felony charge for which the minimum sentence for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon is two years in prison.
De Kuyper, who has a wife and two children, owns Hotel Blue in Lewes.