Appeals court drops rock thrower case

POSTED: 02/21/13 9:09 AM

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice dismissed all prosecution against Franklin B.M. de W. yesterday, thereby confirming an earlier verdict from the Court in First Instance. The prosecutor’s office had appealed this verdict. At the appeal hearing on January 30, Solicitor-General Taco Stein demanded a 9-month suspended prison sentence with 3 years of probation and 60 hours of community service.

The defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a woman on May 4, 2011. The incident happened when De W. arrived at his home late at night and saw someone run away from the building into the bushes. When he called out for this person to come out and nothing happened, the defendant started throwing rocks. He hit the victim, with several rocks on her head causing her a skull fracture and an epidural bleeding, who turned out to be a woman with a psychiatric disorder.

The appeals court ruled that the defendant reaction to the presence of an unknown person in his yard in the middle of the night was proportional and therefore not punishable. The court considered that the defendant had been the victim of several burglaries. When the victim saw the lights of his car she dove in the bushes. De W. called the police and at the same time started throwing rocks in the direction of the intruder.

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