Published On: Thu, Mar 28th, 2019

Stabbing victim refuses to press charges; suspects in pre-trial detention

L'Express Bakery & Patry shop - Marigot

~ Suspected perpetrators in pre-trial detention ~

PHILIPSBURG/MARIGOT — The victim that was involved in a stabbing incident that occurred on the French side on the morning of Monday March 25th, 2019, does not want to press charges. This is according to a report published online by Soualigapost.com. The French prosecutor’s office however is still pressing on with a criminal case against the alleged perpetrators who have been placed in pre-trial detention and sent to Guadeloupe.

Man stabed in Marigot - 25 March 2019 (3)

On the Monday morning in question, a car pulled up on the curbside in front of the L’Express cafe restaurant (in the Bakery & Pastries building as can be seen in the above top photo) at the corner of the intersection of Rue de la Republique and Boulevard de France and the driver stepped out of the vehicle. The driver had a knife stuck in his back. A diner having breakfast at the cafe immediately called an ambulance and the driver was driven away to the hospital. Police from the Gendarmerie came and immediately secured the area for their investigation.

Reports quickly reaching our news desk afterwards indicated that Gendarmes was seen pulling into Agrément looking for the perpetrator or perpetrators in this stabbing incident. According to soualigapost.com, two men were arrested and held in police custody. The two men were immediately summoned to court the next the day on charges of aggravated assault by the Deputy Prosecutor handling the case. If convicted, they can face up to seven years in prison.

According to a press release issued by the deputy prosecutor, the two individuals that were arrested were a French-born St. Martiner twenty-year old man and a thiry-year old Jamaican man. The St. Martiner did not have any antecendents except for his involvement in a case of theft. The Jamaican was unknown to the Justice system, according to the prosecution. “Both had a dispute with the victim, a native Sint Maarten man, about a car rental,” the deputy prosecutor stated in his press release.

According to the report, the victim whose life was not in any immediate danger, would have to undergo three weeks of intensive care as he had a punctured lung. The victim, a resident of Dutch St. Maarten living in Cole Bay, was being treated on the Dutch side at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). As a part of the cooperation between French and Dutch authorities, the victim was heard on Tuesday afternoon by investigators from the Dutch St. Maarten Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Palais de Justice - Photo SoualigaPost

On Wednesday, March 27th, 2019, the two suspects where brought forward in the Criminal Court in Marigot for an expedited fast-track hearing. Both men agreed to be judged that day in the presence of their respective legal counsel and did not wish for any additional time to prepare their defense.

On the other hand, the lawyer of the victim, identified with the initials JB, who has been undergoing medical treatment in the Dutch side hospital since the incident, who had not been able to communicate with her client, requested that the trial be dismissed.

For its part, the court found it necessary to proceed with the case in view of the vagueness of the incident and requested that the victim be re-heard as investigators could only briefly question the victim because of his injuries.

Although the defense opposed the delay, the court ordered a continuation of the case on May 7. Moreover, according to the deputy prosecutor’s statement, the two defendants were placed in pre-trial detention. They were transferred that afternoon to a prison in Guadeloupe where they will await their trial.

According to investigations as reported by soualigapost.com, one of the men with the initials THJ and the victim JB had a dispute in the neighborhood of Agrément where they live about a rental car and in support of THJ, the other man YL allegedly stabbed JB five times, puncturing him a lung and a kidney. The knife apparently belonged to the victim.

Knife used in Stabbing incident 25 March 2019Instead of going straight to the hospital, JB preferred to go to his sister who works in a business on the waterfront in Marigot. It was there at the waterfront area that he was found stepping out of the vehicle the knife still planted in his back.

THJ was born in 1984 in Kingston but has lived in Saint Martin for several years. He works as a masseur (undocumented) at a restaurant on the beach of Grand Case.

YL was born in 1999 in Saint Martin and is a mason (unconfirmed).

The victim is said to be from the Sint Maarten and lives in Cole Bay.

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Related news:
Driver exits car in Marigot with knife in back

Photos credits: Photo of Bakery & Pastry building by TR. Photo of L’Express cafe by Sarina Alexander. Photos of the Palais De Justice and of the knife taken from soualigapost.com.