Boardwalk robber sentenced to 7 years

POSTED: 04/12/12 12:10 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Romaine Walters to 7 years imprisonment yesterday for the New Year’s Day Boardwalk robberies. Together with two others, the 22-year old Anguillan robbed four Australian tourists in the early morning hours of January 1 of among others wallets, cash and cell phones. The tourists were threatened with a firearm and some of them were ill-treated. In one case, the robbery failed. Walters was also sentenced for firearm possession. Walters committed his crimes in a brief time span.
Judge mr. Monique Keppels considered that Walters has a criminal record in his native Anguilla in determining the punishment. Initially he gave a false name to investigators to disguise his criminal past. He is wanted in Anguilla, where he somehow managed to escape from prison in December of last year.

Two 18-year-old fellow-countrymen of the defendant were sentenced earlier to 3 years imprisonment for their role in the robberies. The prosecution considered Walters the main suspect in the case. The verdict is on a par with the demand prosecutor mr. Manon Ridderbeks made at the trial on March 21. At the trial Romaine Walters maintained that his name is Troy M., but investigators soon discovered his true identity.

After the robbery, Walters was arrested near the KFC fast food outlet in Philipsburg together with the two co-defendants. They were not in the possession of identity papers and told the police that their passports were in their hotel room when they were about to be handed over to immigration. Officers took them there and found three cell phones on a bed. When one of the defendants said that he bought one of the phones on the street from an unknown man, officers became suspicious. When they called a random number the man on the other end said that he knew the phone’s owner and that he had just been robbed that morning.

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