Court gives higher sentence for attempted manslaughter

POSTED: 04/3/14 4:25 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced 20-year old Omar Orian Lewis yesterday to 36 months of imprisonment for the attempted manslaughter on Reyes Vicente, nicknamed Chachito. The sentence is higher than the demand of 30 months prosecutor Karola van Nie presented to the court at the trial on March 12.

Lewis got into a fight with the victim on January 27 in a row over a girl. The victim suspected Lewis of having an affair with his girlfriend, something the defendant denied at the trial. The argument started with heated words, then turned into a fistfight and finally ended with knives drawn, where by Vicente took the worst of it. He was stabbed five times – one in his chest and four times in his back.

Lewis showed kin court how, according to his version of the fight, Vicente stood over him. A demonstration of the situation in court showed the defendant “with his head at the height of the crotch of his attorney” while the attorney’s head was around the lower part of the defendant’s back. From that position, Lewis claimed to have grabbed his knife and stabbed Vicente.

The court ruled that his explanation is not plausible. “The explanation in court is not supported by the file and it is at odds with the evidence,” the court ruled.

The court found it implausible that the defendant had been able to stab his adversary in the back from the position he showed in court. Under interrogation, Lewis had first claimed that Vicente had a knife, that he had dropped this to the ground and that he had picked it up to do the stabbing. Police officers on the scene however had seen both young men wielding knives and Lewis later corrected his statement.

The court noted that Lewis had almost killed his opponent. “The file shows that they were friends and that this friendship ended when the victim thought that the defendant had a relationship with his girlfriend.”

The court sentenced Lewis to 36 months of imprisonment; of the sentence, 12 months are conditional. The court imposed 2 years of probation.

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