Cab driver gets lower sentence for attempted manslaughter

POSTED: 02/21/13 9:07 AM

St. Maarten – Not 6, but 4 years imprisonment. That is the sentence Mathurin Alextus received yesterday from the Common Court of Justice for multiple attempts of manslaughter, committed on March 31 of last year in front of the Princess Port de Plaisance casino. The appeals court cut two years off the sentence the Court in First Instance handed down on June 27 of last year. One thing remains unchanged: the appeals court also declared the defendant’s Toyota Land cruiser confiscated. Of the sentence, 1 year is suspended and the court imposed 3 years of probation.

On March 31 of last year Mathurin drove with his 1,500-kilo car straight through a group of people that was standing on the roundabout in front of the entrance to the Princess casino. The defendant claimed that he had panicked because a man whom he said had threatened him a year earlier with a firearm (and whom he suspected to be his wife’s lover) came in a threatening way towards his car.

The court rejected this argument, after studying video footage of the horrific incident during the appeal hearing on January 31. The video simply shows how the heavy car accelerates while it takes the roundabout, briefly stops after hitting the first victims, and then accelerating again, thereby driving straight over a woman and narrowly missing her head with his front wheel.

Mathurin, a cab driver, claimed in court that he never saw the people he ran over – even after watching the video footage. The court rejected the defense argument by mr. Remco Stomp that the 49-year-old defendant had acted under severe psychological duress.

The ruling does not contain an explanation for the reason the court arrived at a lower sentence than the Court in First Instance.

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