Hairdresser faces 8 years for hammer-attack on adversaryPOSTED: 03/1/12 4:10 PM
Prosecutor: “This is attempted murder”
St. Maarten – Ray Stallin P.C., a 30-year-old hairdresser and artist may expect to spend his foreseeable future behind bars in the Pointe Blanche prison. Prosecutor mr. Dounia Benammar demanded 8 years imprisonment against him for attempted murder on a man called Bautista on October 18 of last year. Judge mr. Monique Keppels will pronounce her verdict in three weeks time, on March 21. The facts of the case are hazy, because no witnesses have come forward; the prosecution’s case rests entirely on the credibility of statements made by the victim and on the obvious injuries he sustained.
Bautista suffered a fractured skull and fell into coma after the defendant hit him with a hammer on his forehead. The attack occurred in a minibus on its way from the French side to Cole Bay near the Harley Davidson store at around a quarter past seven in the evening. But what happened before the defendant took a swing at his adversary with the hammer?
The defendant told the court that he had been working in a business on the French side and that he was pursued by a man after he had closed up for the day. That man would be the later victim. P.C. told the court that the two had gotten into a fight and that his attacker had a hammer. After he dropped it, he fled.
When the defendant got on a bus later to travel to the Dutch side he found that his attacker was traveling on the same vehicle. He told police officers on two different occasions that he had hit Bautista with the hammer, but in court yesterday he said he could not remember having used it. Instead he claimed that the victim attacked him when he was getting ready to get off the bus.
The victim suffered severe injuries and was flown to Guadeloupe for medical treatment. Upon his return he told investigators on the French side among other things that the defendant had threatened him on the bus with the words, “Wherever I see you in Santa Domingo, I will kill you.”
Apparently the defendant and his victim have a beef with each other going back seven or eight years. The defendant is married to a lady who used to be the victim’s girl friend.
Prosecutor Benammar said she did not believe a word of the stories the defendant told in court. “The defendant says that he had to defend himself but he has not made that plausible. The victim sustained an injury to his forehead and the defendant must have done this, there are no other flavors.”
The prosecutor said that the defendant must have swung the hammer to inflict the near fatal injury.
“This can only have happened while the victim was sitting in the bus,” she said, dismissing the defendant’s story that there had been a struggle.
“The victim’s version of what happened is the most credible. The defendant intentionally hit him with the hammer. That is attempted murder. I told him during the arraignment that he ought to hope that the victim would not die of his injuries. Then we would have had an entirely different story.”
Attorney mr. Vivian Choennie maintained that the victim had sought the confrontation with her client.
“He was attacked and had to defend himself. He never had the intention to kill. There is no proof that his actions were intentional. He acted on the spur of the moment.”