Published On: Thu, Mar 1st, 2018

Gruesome manslaughter punished with 8 years of imprisonment

PHILIPSBURG – The court n first Instance sentenced Lemar Akin Rogers on Wednesday afternoon to 8 years of imprisonment for the gruesome manslaughter on Reggie Andrews on September 17, 2017. The public prosecutor demanded a prison term of 12 years, but the court saw in the mental wellbeing of the defendant reason for a lower sentence.

Rogers saw red on September 17 because of the noise pollution his neighbor at Over the Bank caused between 7 and 8 a.m. in the morning. He also took issue with the fact that his victim was behind with the rent.

Rogers took a crow bar and a knife to the adjacent house where he broke down the door and stabbed his victim in a psychotic attack of rage 21 times and cut his throat, thereby nearly severing the head from the body. The medical examiner also found eleven defensive wounds. While Andrews, who worked as a painter at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, was bleeding to death, Rogers returned to his own home, grabbed a small tree trunk and used it to beat his victim on his head.

According to a psychiatric report, the 24-year old defendant suffered from psychosis during the violent stabbing. The psychiatrist noted that the defendant also has other delusions. “He thinks that he is destined to achieve great things.”

A psychological report declared the defendant in a diminished state of responsibility and described him also as aggressive. “There is a large risk that he will do this again.” The psychologist also found that Rogers was smoking twelve joints every day.

The public prosecutor said that the fatal stabbing was the result of a dispute that had been going on for some time – mainly about the rent and about noise pollution. “He took a crow bar and a knife with him to talk about arrears in rent. In the end, he slaughtered the victim.”

Report show that this defendant has personality disorders; he suffers from psychoses and megalomania, the prosecutor noted. “This defendant ought to get treatment, but that is not possible in St. Maarten. It is up to the government to do something about this. It is time something happens in this respect.”

Because a proper treatment facility is lacking, the prosecutor saw no other way than demanding 12 years of imprisonment for manslaughter, to protect the community against the defendant.

Defense attorney Geert Hatzmann almost applauded the prosecutor. “You would expect that politicians are finally going to do something about this. There people are left to their own devices. There are several ticking time bombs walking around in St. Maarten.”

Hatzmann said that his client is in a severely diminished state of responsibility. “He acted from a psychosis. I do not see my client as a criminal but as a patient.”

The attorney said that his client should not get a higher punishment because there is no adequate treatment facility on the island. “The government has to make sure that there is a TBS-clinic and my client should get 2 years; no more.”

The judge said that there are indications for premeditation – which would up the charge from manslaughter to murder. However, based on the defendant’s mental well-being, the judge ruled that those indications are not sufficient to prove premeditation and he therefore settled for manslaughter.

“This was a gruesome crime,” the judge said. “The point of departure for manslaughter is 12 years and if you had been mentally sound there would have been grounds for an even higher sentence. But the possibilities to react adequately to this crime do not exist in St. Maarten. The government has to do something about this. I sentence you to 8 years.”

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