Tobin pleads to sufficient facts in gun case

Catherine Tobin, seen here at a previous Zoom hearing, admitted sufficient facts to failing to report her gun stolen.

Catherine Tobin, 66, was arraigned in Edgartown District Court Friday morning on a charge of failing to report the loss of a firearm. Tobin pleaded not guilty during her arraignment, but almost immediately changed her plea. Within minutes of her not-guilty plea, Tobin, who attended the proceeding virtually, pleaded to sufficient facts in the case. The plea came after a sidebar between Judge Benjamin Barnes, assistant district attorney Michael Preble, and Tobin’s attorney, Jay Carney. The charge came from the Edgartown Police Department, and follows a gun license suspension against Tobin by the same department. 

Preble told the court Tobin appears to have lost the weapon at the Black Dog Cafe in 2021. Tobin failed to report the gun, a Glock handgun, missing immediately, which resulted in both the suspension and the criminal charge. Tobin waited approximately 10 days to report the gun missing. As The Times also previously reported, Edgartown District Court Clerk-Magistrate Liza Williamson found probable cause that Tobin “did not report [her] firearm missing or lost for 11 days,” per a finding of facts and order signed Feb. 14. The finding also stated the whereabouts of the gun “remain unknown,” and waiting as long as she did to report the pistol missing “created a grave risk to public safety.” 

Tobin had also been charged with threat to commit a crime in a neighbor dispute, but that charge was dismissed prior to arraignment in June. Judge Barnes continued the charge without a finding for three months (until Oct. 14, 2020), and sentenced Tobin to three months’ probation. Tobin was handed down a $50 victim-witness fee and a $50-per-month probation fee. 

On Friday afternoon, Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee said he hopes the missing gun is recovered, but his department hasn’t found it yet. “It remains at large,” he said. He noted the gun has been entered into a national database.


  1. Hey! I got a good idea! Let’s print this lady’s picture and purposely try and ruin her life. She made a mistake.

    • Robert- This is not the first time that someone who is charged with a crime involving a gun has had their picture appear here.
      While she hasn’t been convicted of anything, she agreed to “sufficient facts” concerning her case. The fact is she did not “immediately” report the gun missing and made a mistake for 10 or 11 days depending on which sentence you read in this story.
      Regardless of whether she is “innocent” or not she has been charged with a crime and agrees she committed it .
      Last year she had an allegation of threatening to commit a crime which resulted in an apparent plea deal , fines and probation.
      I didn’t see you complaining about Brian Langhammer’s picture being in the paper for “threatening to commit a crime”. He’s been in jail for over a month because he can’t afford bail. And he doesn’t even own a gun.
      The 2A proponents talk about “responsible gun owners” — this “lady” ain’t one.
      And I honestly don’t think anyone is “purposely” trying to ruin her life. If her life is being ruined it’s her own fault for not being a responsible gun owner.

      Let’s just hope that gun doesn’t wind up in the hands of some mentally ill person who decides to shoot up a school somewhere.

    • Guns ruin lives.
      Stupid people lose guns.
      Kids tend to take found guns to school to show their friends.

      Should the the pictures of cops who lose guns be published?
      It could ruin there lives.

      • Guns ruin lives? That’s a blanket statement if I ever saw one. Guns saves lives. There, we are even.

        Don, hate to agree with you again. If you own a gun you need to be responsible and if
        You’re not, you have to pay the piper.

        • Carl– as the 2A proponents say “guns don’t kill people, people do”
          The inverse is tautologically true.
          A gun is an inanimate object– as is any tool.
          It’s not my table saw’s fault that I have only 9 1/2 fingers…
          I feel sad that you “hate” to agree with me…

          • Poor choice of words and you are correct about the table saw. Sorry to hear that you lost a finger. Should not of said hate, we can just agree.

        • Carl: America was given yet another lesson on May 24 that the purpose guns is to kill, that day in Uvalde, Texas. There have been over 300 mass shootings in America the first half of 2022, over 22,000 deaths by gun violence. So please explain how guns save lives because I don’t see it.

          • Just yesterday in Indiana a civilian stopped a mass shooter… Greenwood Chief James Ison said “a good Samaritan with a handgun” at the scene killed the shooter. And the day before that a civilian stopping to get gas used his firearm to shoot and kill a person robbing the gas station by holding a knife to the throat of the attendant

            I have personal experience where in the coarse of my employment was saved or saved others with the use of my firearm.

            Please don’t confuse me with someone who thinks carrying a gun to the beach is a good idea. I just think that people should have the right to defend themselves when they deem it appropriate. While working in Newark, NJ I didn’t go many places without it. Living in the MV bubble we tend to forget that there is a real world off this island with dangerous people.

            Those are just two recent examples that have been in the news. There are hundreds of thousands of cases per year in this country where people either protected themselves or others from certain death or serious bodily injury by using their legal weapons defensively. They don’t call them peace keepers for nothing.

            Lastly, there are so many things we could do to stop inexperienced, mentally unstable, violent, drug addicted, domestic abusers from getting guns but our elected “leaders” tend to fall short in the arena. So until they fix the problem I’ll keep carrying my peace keeper until there is peace.

          • Neil–You are correct about the purpose of guns. Sometimes — particularly if you read fox “news” there are cases where an active shooter is stopped by a “good guy with a gun”.
            They are rare, but the shooting in Indiana yesterday was stopped by a citizen carrying a licensed pistol. The death toll would have been much higher if that person did not use that gun. So, we have a case of the gun killeth and the gun saveth.
            But what we have going on in this country now is pure insanity. Some people will misuse guns–we know that– there are plenty of mentally ill and violent people walking around. The problem is the accessibility and the power of the guns. I am not for repealing the second amendment. I am for controlling access and weapons of war.
            It’s pretty clear that the Texas police and law enforcement officers across all agencies there know the power of an ar 15 .. One teenager with an ar 15 held off 19 heavily armed law enforcement officials for over an hour while they listened to children screaming and being murdered in their classrooms. So much for the good guy with a gun theory–It seems Texas’s finest are not suicidal, and certainly not heros. But it’s clear that politicians allowed that teenager who was known to be mentally ill and have violent tendencies to have that weapon.
            He obtained it legally. That shouldn’t have happened —

    • Was it wrong to publish the picture of the Chief of Police of Uvlade?
      He didn’t lose his gun.
      He didn’t even fire it.

    • Don’s picture is in newspaper often, he is active in the community.
      Yours is not.
      If Don loses a gun his picture will be in the newspaper again as it should be.

    • Robert — I have had my picture in this paper 3 times.
      First in 2014 with our good buddy and fellow commentator andy before the serious political divisiveness swept the country after the election of a certain immoral wanna be dicktater.

      Then In June of 2017 for exercising my first amendment constitutional right to express my religious beliefs by wearing religious headgear for my drivers license photo.
      That one was mentioned on NPR as well as a reference to that story from Howie Carr– Yes that Howie !

      And then just last month I was on the front page of this paper for again exercising my constitutional right, and sharing my thoughts on the experience of 5 years with that license.
      I didn’t realize how often one has to show it…
      I have been truly amazed at the almost universal support I have had from the community (especially from the police) .
      By the way , Robert or anyone else, if you want to know more about the world’s fastest growing religion ( as a percentage year over year) you can read this:

      And just for the record, Robert, I have been an ordained minister of the church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster since 2015

      Thanks to all of you who have supported me on this lighthearted endeavor.
      Peace, Love and Pasta

  2. Hi Don, do you own this newspaper. You have ruined the comment section. This is my fourth reply to you, all censured.

  3. I’ve tried to answer you Don, seems I’m not allowed to do that in this format. Must be nice.

    • This is a moderated comment section. You weren’t censored (censured means something else completely). You wrote seven comments in 20 minutes while the moderator was still sleeping.

      • The proper “punishment” might be leaving all eight comments viewable. Karma, and all that. Thank you for moderating.

    • Someday Bobby will realize that MVT fails to provide 7/24 monitoring of it’s privately owned comment board.

  4. I believe that when you register for a gun license you sign stating that you are capable of being responsible.

  5. While I have been critical of Mr. Brennan I have always been appreciative of his constant and fair moderation of these comments. It’s a thankless job that would test the patience of anyone. Thank you for your work.

  6. I agree that Don needs some air. I unexpectedly met Don once and found him to be an okay guy but, holy cow there’s a life out there buddy. I also agree this isn’t your paper and yes you do always turn things political. oh yes and you melt down plenty. Carry on all. peace n love.

  7. Dean– Some people knit– I am interested in the issues in my community. I am a terrible public speaker, but I think a fairly articulate writer, so this is the medium I choose to express myself. No one has to read what I write. I have very little activity on other social media. No twitter account or anything like that. I go on facebook about once a month to see pictures of my grandkids.
    I am semi retired.. 70 yrs old.
    Don’t worry about me getting air…
    “always” is a big word. I wonder what you mean by “political” ?– if we are discussing abortion or guns or LGBTQ rights etc. how does one keep politics out of it ?
    I think most topics here are in fact politically influenced.
    Hope you don’t think I am melting down with this comment.
    Peace Love and Pasta

    • Don you and Engelman are a few of the reasons why I come to this forum. Great points and counter points and those topics you mention are very political. But I appreciate you arguments much more when you leave one certain guy out of it. And I don’t mean Albert Hess. Your points stand very well on their own.

  8. Journalistic standards and freedom of speech are essential to a democracy. The dedication of this newspaper to both cannot be questioned. It’s entirely appropriate to use photos with news stories. And a good time to remember that commenting is a gift to the community, while moderating is a thankless, time-consuming job. It’s a gift, even to those who don’t appreciate what these comments do in telling us who we are. I’ve had more than my share of disagreements with moderating decisions, but there is no doubt that the bigger picture is not personal. There IS a bigger picture.

    What is personal and highly inappropriate is when a commenter abuses George’s reliance and good faith in our honor by using a fake name to comment. George can’t check every new commenter as a real name. Why do people deceive George in this way? Everyone knows anonymity breaks the simple rules here. There’s no gray area about it (the way name-calling can be kinda grayish, 😉). People who purposely deceive George, (as well as other commenters, and Times readers), have the moral and ethical backbone of someone who steals money from the honor system boxes at flower stands. Those anonymous commenters who use up any good will they may have garnered with one fake name, then disappear, only to reappear with another fake name, are even lower. Arrogant fools give themselves away eventually. They repeat themselves, whether it’s through whining, an innate misogyny, a controlling need to tell others what or how to comment, or a disregard for others during a pandemic. There’s one such faker going gangbusters, here and now, as we speak. Exposure is a liar’s nightmare. A phony is, at core, a liar.

    Back to photos of perps in news stories—fear of public shaming has been a deterrent to antisocial or criminal behavior since forever. There’s a good reason why.

  9. America is gun crazy.
    A lost gun generates 28 comments in a very up scale “podunk” newspaper.

    • Another blanket statement Hess! I thought characterizing one’s nationality in a certain way is myopic. We see politicians all the time get in trouble for doing this. I certainly would not call you gun crazy nor would I for the rest of the country gun crazy. Spend a few minutes and the Edgartown Rod and Gun Club and I’m sure you would agree

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