Bureaucratic mix-up delays access to pro Deo attorney

POSTED: 09/2/11 12:28 PM

Acid-attack trial postponed until November

St. Maarten – On June 15, attorney mr. B.B. Brooks desisted mid-trial because the court wouldn’t let her hear her client’s son as a witness. Yesterday that client, Rosalind G.-R., was in court again but she did not have a new attorney due to a bureaucratic mix-up. The court postponed the case until November 9.
The defendant is accused of throwing a bottle of drain cleaner at a man who was staying at her house. The victim suffered burn wounds from the acid to his neck, throat, upper arm, chest and thigh.
Rosalind G. is a 55-year old civil servant with a career that spans 40 years. She had an argument with Maynard on April 3 at her home. In the defendant’s version, as she related it during the June 15 court hearing, she came home around ten o’clock in the morning and found Maynard in a beach chair in her yard reading a book. An argument “about stuff we have problems with” erupted, followed by a scuffle. The defendant said that the man had followed her into her house and grabbed her from behind in the kitchen. There she had grabbed a bottle of drain cleaner and threw it at him.
The victim told a different story, according to Judge Keppels. “He says that you went inside and that he went back to the beach chair, reading a book. Shortly afterwards he felt a hot fluid on his skin. He says you emptied the bottle on him, telling him: I will burn you or I will kill you.”
It appears that the defendant, who has been suspended from her job since her arrest the day after the acid attack, was blind drunk at the time. “After six hours she was still too drunk to be interrogated, and at eight o’clock in the evening she was still under the influence,” Keppels pointed out.
The defendant claimed later that what happened was ‘an accident” and that she regretted it. She told the court that she is looking for help to overcome her addiction to alcohol. “And I won’t let any strangers into my house anymore,” she said, assuring the Judge that similar incidents would not happen again in the future.
Yesterday, the defendant told the court that she had immediately after the stalled court hearing taken action to find a different attorney. But in some unidentified government office, someone told her she had to wait for an answer until October 10. The prosecutor’s office will now make an effort to help the defendant find a new government-appointed lawyer.

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