Published On: Thu, Dec 21st, 2017

Young robbers face up to twelve years in jail

CourthousePHILIPSBURG – The Public Prosecutor demanded prison sentences varying from 3 to 12 years for five defendants in the Court in First Instance on Wednesday. The men are charged with five armed robberies and one home invasion whereby they ill-treated, bound and gagged the resident. The crimes were committed between December 7 of last year and March 4 of this year.

The Public Prosecutor wants to send Delangio Rakeem W. (21) and Ashmore Deandre H. (18) for 12 years to jail; Brian B. (20) is facing 10 years of imprisonment and Janry St. V. 3 years. The fifth defendant was just 16 at the time the crimes were committed and stmaartennews.com protects his identity at the request of the court. This youngster is facing 18 months of youth detention with 6 months suspended and 2 years of probation. The court will pronounce all rulings on January 10.

The defendants B., W., H. and the fifth man were allegedly involved in a home invasion on December 7 of last year whereby they tied up the resident at the Agate Road in Pelican Key with electrical wire, rammed a cloth in his mouth and hit him with a gun on his head. The robbers also put the gun to the man’s head, demanding that he give them the pass code for his bank cards. The frightened victim gave them the correct code for one card, and a false one for a second card.

The robbers also fled with the victim’s car, but it soon came to a halt against a wall because the driver appeared unable to manage the vehicle. The robbers stole cash, electronics, laptops and phones; they pinned seven times small amounts with one bank card. The total damages were $21,623. The victim has claimed these damages and also $3,000 in immaterial damages.

Brian B. is furthermore accused of robbing two tourists on Kim Sha Beach on January 22 of $200, €150, a bank card and an iPhone. Delangio W., Ashmore H. and Janry St. V. were involved in two armed robberies on January 23 and 24 – respectively at the Yang Yang supermarket and the Wah Yung supermarket; the combined loot was $700 and a cell phone. Three days later, Brian B. joined the three for an armed robbery at the Fai Wong restaurant, where they made off with $380, phones and bank cards. Lastly, on March 4 Brian B. allegedly robbed a man on the Boardwalk, using a knuckle duster.

The court took the morning hours to go through the details of all the crimes. It also handled the case of the youngest defendant. After lunch, the Public Prosecutor presented his case.

The Prosecutor considers W., H., B. and the youngest defendant guilty of the home invasion. For the Fai Wong robbery he declared all four suspects guilty. The prosecutor also considered three of the four defendants guilty of the supermarket robberies on January 23 and 24, but he asked the court to acquit Janry St. V. for lack of evidence.

Furthermore, the Prosecutor considers Brian B. guilty of the armed robbery on two tourists on Kim Sha beach, but asked to acquit this defendant of a violent street robbery on the Boardwalk that took place on March 4.

Attorney Sjamira Roseburg asked the court to exclude from evidence statements made by the mother of her client Brian B. because the women had not been made aware of her right to refrain from statements that would incriminate her son. “She cannot read and she does not speak Dutch.” Roseburg said. She also asked to exclude statements from Mark R., labeling him as an unreliable witness because he had initially been arrested as a suspect.

Roseburg asked the court to acquit her client of most of the charges, saying there is insufficient evidence.

Attorney Safira Ibrahim also went for acquittals for her clients Janry St. V., Ashmore H. and Delangio W. She described how the police had shot at the car of the defendants during their arrest on January 27, after the Wai Fong restaurant robbery. St. V. and H. were hit by police bullets. The incident is subject to an investigation by the National Detective Agency.

Ibrahim described the police actions as excessive and disproportionate police violence.

The Public Prosecutor responded later that the police is authorized to use lethal violence if the situation justifies this.

Ibrahim asked the court to apply a significant reduction on the sentence for her clients. She also asked an acquittal for most of the charges.

Both attorneys asked the court to deny a claim for damages by the victim of the home invasion, saying that the amount is insufficiently substantiated. They also asked the court to deny the Prosecutor’s request to seize $2,334 in illicit criminal gains from each of the suspects.