Bada Bing robbers back in court in September

POSTED: 07/1/11 7:36 PM

Main suspect released, others remain in jail

St. Maarten – On March 7 armed robbers stole $16,000 in cash from adult entertainment club Bada Bing in Simpson Bay. Yesterday the clubs former female bookkeeper, Romanian Ramona Sonia L., 32, and a second suspect, American Jimmey Dave R., 34, were in court but the man who actually executed the crime, Kenny D. was not there: he had been released from pretrial detention and was subsequently deported to his native Dominica.

Prosecutor mr. G. van der Wulp asked the court to postpone the case, because she had called up a witness who had only on Monday be heard in front of the Judge of Instruction. mr. J.G. Bloem, the attorney of Ramona L. also wanted a postponement to hear other witnesses. Judge Keppels set the new trial date for September 7.

The defendants are accused of robbing Bada Bing of $16,000. Rumor is that the former bookkeeper informed others involved in the crime via her blackberry about the exact moment when the money was leaving the club. Kenny D., who is considered as the man who did the actual robbery, pulled a gun on two people sitting in a car outside the club and he hit one of them with his weapon in the face.

If the robbery charge does not stick, the prosecution accuses Sonia L. and Jimmey R., who were both working at Bada Bing, of embezzling the money from their employer.

Jimmey R.’s attorney mr. J.J. de Vrieze asked the court to declare the prosecution inadmissible because co-suspect Kenny d. had been released from detention by the prosecutor’s office. “He had been deported to Dominica and he did not even get a summons,” De Vrieze said. “This is an unequal situation that stands in the way of trying my client.”

De Vrieze pointed out that St. Maarten does not have an extradition treaty with Dominica and that chances that D. will ever come back to the island, either to be heard as a witness or to go on trial, are remote. He asked the court to release his client. “His parents sold their supermarket and started a restaurant in Simpson Bay. They want Jimmey to become the manager.”

mr. Bloem said that he received the case file shortly before the trial date and that he wants to hear witnesses. “Kenny D., the actual robber, claimed that the robbery was planned by my client and others. He said that the people he robbed planned the whole thing. He is released while the victims are detained.”

Bloem also asked the court to suspend his client’s detention.

Prosecutor Van der Wulp said that her office had to make choices about releasing detainees due to the cell shortage. She objected to the plea to declare the prosecution inadmissible, because the defense had plenty of time to interview Kenny D. while he was still incarcerated. She also objected to the request to suspend the defendants’ detention.

Judge mr. M. Keppels rejected the plea for inadmissibility. “It is too early to establish that Kenny D. cannot be heard as a witness,” she ruled. That the prosecutor’s office now apparently is forced “to release suspects of armed robberies is reason for concern,” the Judge said, but she said that this is not at odds with the equality principle.

The Judge also said that the defendants had played different roles and that their cases are therefore not identical. She allowed the prosecution to hear a witness who is able to confirm the statements made by the deported Kenny D. and she allowed the defense to call up Kenny D. as a witness. She rejected the request to suspend the defendants’ detention.


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