Attempted manslaughter sends young man to jail for 54 months

POSTED: 11/15/12 12:57 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Samuel Rony Brown to 54 months imprisonment for the August 24, 2007 attempted manslaughter on Luis Frias. Of the sentence 18 months are suspended; the court imposed 2 years of probation. At the trial on October 24, prosecutor Dounia Benammar demanded a slightly higher punishment – 60 months imprisonment with 20 months suspended.

The victim told police that he was driving towards his house on Sao Paulo Road in Nazareth when he noticed a car close behind him. When he stopped, he saw Brown come out of the other car and pull something from underneath his tee-shirt. “At that time I accelerated and drove off. I heard two shots and saw that the rear window of my car was completely destroyed by the shots Rony fired at me.”

The defendant told the court that he had fired with a pellet gun at the car, but Judge Tijhuis ruled that, given the damage to the car window, he must have used a real firearm.

“By shooting twice from a short distance with a firearm at the rear window of the victim’s car, the defendant consciously accepted the considerable chance that the victim would be fatally hit,” the ruling states.

The court rejected Brown’s call on self-defense. At the trial the defendant claimed that Frias had shot at him first, but Judge Tijhuis ruled that this is not plausible. Brown pointed out that he had been shot in his leg.

The incident with Frias occurred at 6.30 a.m. “It cannot be excluded that the defendant was shot in his leg at a later moment that day,” the court ruling states.

Besides, Brown did not file a complaint about this alleged shooting and a witness to the Frias-shooting did not say anything about shots fired by the victim. Brown’s mother also stated that her son had been shot at, but her statements are not corroborated by evidence in the case file.

The reason for the shooting incident was an argument about a stolen motor bike and helmet.


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