Appeal Christian Lloyd killing moved: eighth postponement

POSTED: 04/13/12 4:26 PM

St. Maarten – Anthony Ray Spencer finally got himself a pair of attorneys: mrs. Remco Stomp and Cor Merx. The 42-year-old defendant is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for the January 23, 2010 murder of Christian Lloyd.

The trials against Spencer have been marred by postponements. Yesterday postponement number eight became a fact after the Common Court of Justice moved the trial to June 28 because Stomp and Merx need more time to prepare the defense.

Ever since his arrest, Spencer has gone through four different attorneys. Stomp and Merx will do the case pro deo, mr. Stomp said yesterday outside the courtroom, hinting that there is more to the case than meets the eye.

The victim, 37-year-old Christian Lloyd, was killed with a single gunshot to his head. The murder took place on January 23, 2010, but the body was found two days later. Spencer initially denied that he ever had phone contacts with Lloyd, whom he later described to an acquaintance as “that gay guy.” But phone records showed at least 34 phone-contacts between Spencer and Lloyd in January 2010. There was also phone contact on the day before the murder. A piece of duct tape that was found under the body contained DNA trace evidence that linked Spencer to the killing.

Eighteen days after he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the murder, Spencer briefly escaped from the Pointe Blanche prison on October 30 of last year. He was recaptured after 37 hours and still has to stand trial for the escape in the Court in First Instance.

Anthony Ray Spencer appeared in court for the first time on June 2, 2010. That day, the prosecution asked for a postponement, because the technical investigation was incomplete, as the prosecutor’s office was still awaiting results from DNA-tests by the Dutch Forensic Institute NFI.

Spencer’s first attorney, mr. Geert Hatzmann pointed out at the time already that the case against his client was weak.

The prosecutions argument was from the beginning that Spencer told several people that he had killed Lloyd.

On September 22 2010, the second postponement was necessary because Hatzmann had withdrawn as the defendant’s attorney after a disagreement about the way he wanted to handle the defense.

On November 18 that same year, Spencer appeared in court without a lawyer, reason for another postponement. Attempts to replace Hatzmann with mr. Shaira Bommel fell through, because one of her clients had made incriminating statements about Spencer. Due to this conflict of interest, Bommel was unable to take the case. Searching for an alternative proved to be a cumbersome adventure, because the defendant “felt no connection” with the suggested attorney, mr. Ellen Knoppel. In the end, the court found the dean of the Bar Association, mr. Bert Hofman, prepared to take on the job. But on November 18, Hofman was not available, and the court saw no other option than to move the trial to January 13 of last year.

Hofman had handed over the case to mr. Stomp by then. He asked for a postponement on January 13 of last year, because he wanted to hear fourteen witnesses, obtain a technical report about the murder weapon as well as a report about telecommunication traffic between the victim and his client, and have a report written about his client by the Rehabilitation Bureau.

Judge Keppels allowed five of the witnesses, denied the request for the Rehabilitation Bureau report, and said that information about other witnesses would be added to the case file. The prosecution said it would provide the technical report about the murder weapon.

On March 30 of last year, Stomp asked for another postponement because two of the five witnesses had not been heard yet. That situation still existed four months later on August 6 – and it resulted in postponement number six.

Spencer finally stood trial on September 9 of last year. The following month, on October 12, the Court in First Instance found him guilty and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.

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