CFL player faces gun charges after firearm discovered in hotel room
Published Thursday, May 3, 2012 6:34PM EDT
MONTREAL - Toronto Argonaut Edawn Coughman, 23, is facing three years in jail after a cleaning-lady found a gun on his bedside table at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal Wednesday night.
A police SWAT returned to find the loaded gun hidden under the mattress.
During his bail hearing Thursday a tearful Coughman tried to explain that he bought the gun legally in his home state of Georgia and that he always carries the weapon. He said he was unaware of Canada's strict gun laws.
His lawyer attributed it to a misunderstanding.
"Being from a totally different background as far as carrying a firearm goes, yes he was totally surprised," said lawyer Hugues Surprenant. There are cultural differences; of course for us Canadians there are no questions to be asked."
Coughman was in town to train alongside Edmonton Eskimo Ted Laurent at the Alouettes' training facility.
The prosecution raised questions about how could afford to own a home in Toronto and another in Atlanta on his $44,000 CFL salary.
They worry that he will flee the country if granted bail.
"He's an American citizen, we don't know if he'll be back in Canada considering the offence," said Crown Prosecutor David Landry.
The judge will render her bail decision tomorrow. But in the meantime, the Argonauts haven't said anything about the player's future on the team.