Appeal Romeijn-killers postponed until December

POSTED: 09/30/11 1:09 PM

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice postponed the appeal hearing of three defendants who are currently serving lengthy prison sentences for a string of violent armed robberies – the most notorious one being a robbery on October 16 of last year in Mullet Bay that cost 45-year old Dutchman Wouter-Jan Romeijn his life. The new trial date is Monday December 12.

Stevie Adolphus Richardson is currently serving 22 years and 10 months for these crimes; Alescio Elvio Violenus was sentenced to 19 years, and Julio Cesar Encarnacion Vargas, who was not involved in the Romeijn-case but in a number of other robberies, is serving 15 years and 4 months. The fourth member of the gang, Omar Nelson, aka Chucky, was sentenced to 18 years in absentia and his verdict has already become irrevocable, due to the fact that he escaped from prison before his trial and did not file an appeal.

Richardson appeared in court yesterday without his attorney mr. Z.J. Bary. Richardson told the court that he thought his attorney is abroad, and even added that he was not sure she is still defending him.

The attorney for Violenus and Encarnacion Vargas, mr. Geert Hatzmann was present, but the court decided to postpone all appeals because it had not received the case files in a timely manner.

mr. Hatzmann asked the court to subject his client Violenus to a psychological evaluation. He made a similar request during the trial in the Court in First Instance on May 12, but Judge mr. M. Keppels rejected it.

The Appeals Court however, consisting of mr. J. de Boer, P.E. de Kort and E.M. van der Bunt granted the request this time.

“My client has had a tragic youth. There was a chronic shortage of money, his mother was depressed and his stepfathe abused her. He has no previous record and he had fled into a world of alcoholism; it is possible that he is not entirely responsible for his actions.”

In May, Hatzmann said that both his clients are “exponents of a lost generation. There is no youth policy, the government does not create jobs and young people grow up with the idea that the law of the jungle rules. The government does not do anything and that is a big shame.”

Hatzmann said that Violenus had asked for help but that he did not get any and that as a result he had fallen into alcoholism.

“He is a friendly and polite boy, not the prototype of a gangster. All his emotions are blocked, he just acted. It is time for the society to wake up, because right now it is Sodom and Gomorrah here.”


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