Gang leader offered $20,000 for Amador Jones murderPOSTED: 06/14/12 1:05 PM
Demand 9 years for being accessory to Amador Jones murder
St. Maarten– Hector Miguel Arrindell was ready to pay $20,000 to have Amador Jones, one of the leaders of a rival drugs gang, murdered. The money was offered to Kittitian Omax Bye, who killed Jones on April 16 of last year at the Under the Sun snack bar and car wash on Gladiola Road. Bye, who is now detained in St. Kitts, received only part of the money.
These and more details about the Jones murder and the deadly violence that resulted from this crime were reveled in the Court in First Instance yesterday at the trial of Akeem Kennedy D., a 22-year-old charges with fire arm possession and being an accessory to the Amador Jones murder. Public Prosecutor Mr. Bart den Hartigh demanded 9 years imprisonment; the defendant’s attorney Mr. Cor Merx asked the court to acquit his client. Judge mr. Monique Keppels will render verdict on June 27.
Mr. Den Hartigh painted in his demand a bleak picture of the warring gangs in St. Maarten back in 2011. ”There were several criminal organizations that dealt with the trade in drugs. At a certain moment the organization of Amador Jones and his brother Omar apparently decided that they were the boss of the drugs trade and that everything had to go through them. Others who wanted to deal drugs had to pay them a fee, something like a criminal tax. When someone refused, their drugs were taken away.”
Mr. Den Hartigh noted that Hector Miguel Arrindell’s organization balked at the idea. When Arrindell received a shipment of cocaine at the airport, the Jones-gang ripped it. “Arrindell could get his drugs back if he paid an amount to the Jones brothers. Amador Jones allegedly said in a phone conversation with Miguel Arrindell that the two brothers controlled all drugs that enter St. Maarten. Arrindell did not accept that and, as it appears from the file, he decided in consultation with Eric Lake and Brian Christina that the Jones brothers had to be liquidated.”
The Amador Jones murder triggered a violent reaction. Hector Miguel Arrindell, his brother Rodolfo, Eric Lake, Kevin Gumbs, and Anthony White were all murdered in the course of last year. According to reliable sources the murder of Sheldon Thomas also is a result of the drug war.
Akeem D., accused of being an accessory to the Amador Jones murder, basically denied everything yesterday morning, including the fact that his nickname is Shack. He was arrested on November 8 of last year; officers found a WIN 9 mm Luger pistol with fifteen rounds of ammunition under the gearbox console. DNA trace evidence on the weapon matched the defendant’s profile, but he denied that he had ever seen or touched it.
Investigators got the first whiff of the defendant’s possible involvement in the Amador Jones murder from an anonymous witness who declared that “a guy nicknamed Max who is riding a black and blue motorbike dropped Max (Omax Bye – ed.) in the vicinity of the Under the Sun bar.”
Based on the explicit description the witness gave of this Shack, investigators concluded that this was Akeem D. Statements by two defendants in the Vesuvius-investigation Charles Duduks F. and Erno L. jr. confirmed D.’s involvement. Prosecutor den Hartigh said that there is direct proof from a statement made by Vesuvius-suspect Carlos R. – a close friend of the late Amador Jones. R. said that he had heard Akeem D. say in the cell complex at the police station to another detainee that he was waiting on his bike for Mad Max (Bye – ed.) on the day of the murder. D. allegedly told his fellow-detainee that he had dropped off Bye and that he fled with him on the bike after the murder, with D. as the driver.
Analysis of telecom-data shows that the defendant had several contacts with another suspect – Jamal R. – even during his detention at the police station. Before and after the murder he had several contacts with Omax Bye.
“Based on this information it is in my opinion a fact that Omax Bye and Akeem D. know each other,” Den Hartigh said. The defendant denied in court under questioning by Judge mr. Monique Keppels that he knows Bye or that he had contacts with him. “The defendant claims that he always speaks the truth, but that seems not to be correct. Apart from his lies about the firearm, he also apparently lies about the fact that he does not know Omax Bye and that he has never seen him.”
Five days after the murder Akeem D. went to the Netherlands to spend a month with his girlfriend Sherstine M. On May 15 of last year, the two got into an argument when the girl asked him whether he has anything to do with the Amador Jones murder. After the argument she filed a complaint against the defendant for ill-treatment.
The prosecutor considers it proven that Akeem D. took Omax Bye to the place of the crime on April 16 of last year. “He helped out intentionally and he intentionally created the opportunity to commit this murder.” mr. Den Hartigh said that there is insufficient evidence to charge D. with complicity.
In 2010 the defendant was acquitted of attempted manslaughter on a couple in Middle Region in September 2008, but he was convicted for destroying the interior of a police cell in Statia and for threatening a policeman with words like, “You are a dead man walking, “I have a bullet with your name on it,” “I will empty a whole clip on you,” and “I know where you live. Let me come to Statia.”
D.’s attorney mr. Cor Merx told the court that his client ought to be acquitted not only of being an accessory to the Amador Jones murder, but also of being an accessory to manslaughter. “There is no question of any moment of consideration or calm consultation or a moment of reflection,” he said. mr. Merx also said that his client cannot be held accountable for conditional intent. He referred to two Supreme Court rulings. “My client must have known that there was a reasonable chance that his actions could lead to somebody else’s death and that is not the case.”
With the prosecution, mr. Merx is of the opinion that Omar Bye pulled the trigger in the Amador Jones-murder. Witnesses saw a motorbike speed away after the murder and they also saw a man throw a white tee shirt into the bushes. This tee shirt was carefully retrieved by one witness and handed to the police.
Because Bye, who is detained in St. Kitts, refused to give DNA-samples voluntarily, the prosecutor’s office asked the authorities on that island to confiscate the detainee’s toothbrush. The DNA-sample from this toothbrush matches DNA-traces from the tee shirt.
“Nobody saw my client at the place of the murder,” mr. Merx noted, adding that something ought to prove that D. made agreements with Bye about the murder, that they talked about who would do what and what their cooperation would look like.”
mr. Merx furthermore noted that his client did not do anything and that it has not been established that he agreed with the shooting.
mr. Merx asked the court to acquit his client, also of the firearm possession, because several persons have driven the car in which it was found and because three DNA-profiles were found on the weapon. One profile belongs to D.. “It is possible that he handled it at one time and then gave it to someone else. If my client put the weapon in the car there would have been more prints of him on the whole weapon. He probably knows who the others are and this is why he has consistently called on his right to remain silent.”