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New 11 years in prison for manslaughter Dutch St Maarten
Eleven years in prison for manslaughter
A 43-year-old man was sentenced on June 29 by the Sint Maarten Court of First Instance to a prison term of eleven for having fatally injured an individual with a firearm. The incident took place on May 8, 2021 in the Dutch part.
The defendant and the victim are driving their own car. They meet on Trumpet Shell Road. The defendant explains that the victim blocked his vehicle and threw stones at him. To defend himself, he used his firearm. The two then drove off in an opposite direction before the defendant turned around. Another altercation takes place between the two people, the defendant uses his weapon again, several times.
Examination of the victim’s vehicle revealed five bullet holes, four of which were in the front. A bullet also lodged in the body of the victim who died of these injuries at the hospital in Philipsburg.
At the hearing, the debates focused on the voluntary nature or not of the homicide. The testimonies of local residents and the use of surveillance camera images showed that the last shootings took place in a dark area of the street. “You can see and hear the victim’s car backing up, while the suspect’s car is following. Then, off-screen, a gunshot and a moan can be heard. After that, the victim can be seen heading towards the barrier, the exit from the estate, where she is finally found with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, ”recalls the court.
Although the defendant claims to have received threatening messages from the victim, he had no intention of killing the victim that day. He justifies the possession of a firearm in his vehicle by the presence of a large sum of money, sum which was found by the police. He also repeats that he did not try to shoot the victim but the vehicle. The court does not accept the voluntary nature of the homicide.
In addition, according to the elements of the investigation, the facts took place for three minutes. Also the judges believe that the defendant could not have acted with premeditation, that he “did not have the opportunity to reflect on the meaning and the consequences of his intention”.
On the other hand, if they recognize his right to have wanted to defend himself from the stones thrown by the victim, they denounce the use of a firearm. The response was disproportionate. Especially since the investigation showed that the defendant got angry and that he “acted not out of fear but out of anger” by shooting several times.
After deliberating, the court pronounced a sentence of eleven years in prison, a sentence six years less than that required by the prosecution