Community service for domestic violence

POSTED: 10/18/13 2:26 PM

St. Maarten – Stalon Murphy Ogarro and the mother of his children are still living together in spite of a flurry of violent incidents that puts their relationship in the stormy-category. The court sentenced Ogarro, 24, yesterday to a 2-month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation and 80 hours of community service for ill-treating the woman.

While the prosecution and the defense agreed that there was insufficient proof for an incident on August 3 of last year, Judge Koos van de Ven ruled differently and based his case on the complaint by the victim and the fact that her younger sister had been crying on the phone to the woman’s mother about the ill-treatment.

The second incident, on August 10, was not contested, because the defendant confessed that he had hit the victim on her head while she was lying in bed.

The third incident however was different: Prosecutor  Maarten Noordzij –during his first time in court in St. Maarten – followed the woman’s statement that Ogarro had ill-treated her and that he had bitten her in her face. Other evidence stems from photos showing the injuries, a statement from the woman’s mother who said that Ogarro ill-treated her daughter more often, and a police report stating that Ogarro was holding the woman in a chokehold outside his house.

Ogarro told the court that the mother of his children drinks a lot, that she was aggressive and that she had approached him holding a knife. The reason for her anger was a phone call from a woman from the French-side claiming that she was giving birth to a baby and that Ogarro was the father.

“Domestic violence is serious,” prosecutor Noordzij told the defendant. “When there is an argument this defendant opts for violence. And every time he puts the blame elsewhere: his wife is jealous, she drinks a lot. But even then you have to solve situation with words, not with fists.”

The prosecutor demanded a 2-month conditional prison sentence, with 2 years of probation and 80 hours of community service.

Attorney  Shaira Bommel said that the story about a woman from the French side giving birth to her client’s baby is not credible. “The woman attacked my client with a knife and he defended himself. He bit her because she did not want to let go of the knife.”

Judge Van de Ven surprised everyone by ruling that there is insufficient evidence to prove the fracas of September 15. “You have a completely different story than your wife. It is your statement against hers, so there is no legal and convincing evidence. The police saw you hold her in a chokehold outside the house but you have not been charged with that.”

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