Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

Court finds no proof for ill-treatment

Court House Philipsburg St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG –  The Court in First Instance acquitted  four defendants of committing public violence on September 30, 2017, against a man one of them had just thrown out of his apartment. But the court found one of the participants in the brawl guilty of firearm possession and sentenced him to 12 months of imprisonment, 3 months below the prosecution’s demand.

The tenant, R.R.S. filed a complaint for threats, destruction of property and ill-treatment against his landlord Tyrone Etienne Meyers, Akkoye Jacques Meyers, Mhalik Ayo Erico O. and Nyheen Roberto Pierre Roumou.

The plaintiff had gone to his house after a phone conversation with Etienne Meyers. When he saw that others were busy putting his personal belongings along the side of the road, he got into an argument with Meyers that eventually became physical.

But the court could not establish who did what and when because the statements of the plaintiff and the defendants contradict each other. Because there were no unbiased witnesses, the court found insufficient legal and convincing evidence for the ill-treatment of the plaintiff by Meyers or by one of the other defendants.

The court did find proof that Etienne Meyers had destroyed the rear window of his tenant’s car, but it declared the plaintiff inadmissible in his claim for damages (to the tune of $1,618) because he could not provide a receipt to substantiate his claim.

The court sentenced Meyers to 20 hours of community service.

Akkoye Meyers was not that lucky. The court acquitted him of ill-treatment, but sentenced him for firearm possession to 12 months of imprisonment. Meyers claimed that the gun – a Ruger Prescott-AZ – belonged to the tenant who had dropped it while he fled the scene of the fight. None of the others had seen that the tenant had dropped something and Meyers initially did not want to make a statement to the police about the gun. That was reason for the court not to believe his story.

Nyheen Roumou was like the others acquitted of ill-treatment, but he was found to be in the possession of a knuckle duster. For that fact, the court sentenced him to a fine of 500 guilders.

The fourth defendant, Mhalik O. was acquitted entirely. The prosecution had asked the court to execute the conditional part of an earlier conviction, but the judge denied this as well; the acquittal of the ill-treatment charge means, the court said, that O. did not commit a crime during his probation period.