Fencing punished with 56 days in jailPOSTED: 08/9/12 12:25 PM
St. Maarten – Anthony Alexandre Ferrance spent already 58 days behind bars as a suspect in a burglary that took place on February 22 at a home on the Jumping Cholla Cactus Road. “That’s enough,” prosecutor mr. Dounia Benammar said yesterday morning in the Court in First Instance. Judge mr. Tamara Tijhuis agreed and sentenced the absent defendant to 56 days – not for the burglary, but for fencing the stolen goods.
While the court case was scheduled to begin at 10 o’clock, Ferrance still was not there half an hour later. “He is on his way,” his attorney mr. Nerissa de la Rosa said. The court proceeded without the defendant who in the end never showed his face.
During the burglary somebody stole a laptop, a DVD-player, some cash and jewelry. Some of the jewelry was shortly afterwards found by police officers at the defendant’s home. While he called on his right to remain silent under interrogation, it became clear in court that he had accepted the jewelry from “somebody called Jason.”
Prosecutor Benammar said that an anonymous witness had told investigators that he (or she) had seen the defendant coming out of the house. “That is the only statement we have; from that I cannot conclude that he was in the house. But the defendant did know that the jewelry was coming from that house.”
That was enough for the prosecution to ask the court for a sentence for fencing stolen goods. “The defendant has not been incarcerated before and he has already been detained for 58 days for this fact. That is enough,” mr. Benammar said.
mr. De la Rosa said that her client acknowledges that he accepted some pieces of jewelry from “Jason,” but that he learned about the burglary only later when the house owner came to threaten him. “He did not know beforehand. Only after he was arrested did it become clear to him that they came from a burglary.”
The attorney found no proof for fencing and asked the court to acquit her client.
Judge Tijhuis did not go along with it: she sentenced Ferrance to 56 days – a term he has already served.