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.