Court rejects defense-request for new psychological evaluation

POSTED: 11/24/11 8:30 AM

Regatta-murders trial

St. Maarten – The trial against Curtley Allison R. and Sherwan R. began yesterday morning with a dispute about the psychological and psychiatric evaluation of both defendants, who stand accused of three murders, rape, three robberies and one count of ill-treatment.

Defense attorneys mrs. S.R. Bommel and G. Hatzmann both severely criticized the reports and asked the court permission to obtain a second opinion. Judge mr. M. Keppels denied the request, saying that the reports had been available since September and that the defense had had plenty of time to ask for clarifications.

mr. Bommel said that the description of her client Sherwan R.’s history in the report is inaccurate.

“His mother is not 52 but 40; he does not have three brothers and sisters but six. He says he does not have a cocaine addiction as the report states.”

mr. Bommel said that the psychologist had drawn his conclusions based on incorrect information.

“My client is said to have a daughter of 4 or 5 years old. He says he does not have any children. The results in the report are based on one interview.”

mr. Bommel said that her client had spent seven weeks in Curacao for the evaluation.

“Yet the report is only three pages. It mentions psychopathic tendencies, while a psychopathic condition presumes an above average intelligence. The psychologist’s report states that his IQ is below 69. The report does not give an accurate impression of his mental state of mind.”

mr. Hatzmann said that his client needed more than double the time to answer questions during the evaluation.

“My client is insane. Yet the psychiatrist considers him fully responsible for his actions.”

Hatzmann said that he had been unable to hold a normal conversation with his client. “Everything goes by him. It seems that he has committed murders for the sake of entertainment. If that is the case you are sick in your head.”

Hatzmann said he expected the prosecution to demand a life sentence against his client.

“There is a lot at stake. That is why I want a second opinion of another psychologist and another psychiatrist.”

Judge mr. Keppels suggested that the attorneys could have asked for further explanations about the reports.

Prosecutor mr. M.L.P. Ridderbeks pointed out that the evaluation had been done at the defense’s request.

“The attorneys do not understand the report. That says more about the attorneys than about the report. The incorrect information about personal circumstances is of no influence on the conclusions. The defendants have been subjected for weeks to clinical observation.”

mr. Ridderbeks said that a low IQ does not necessarily mean that somebody has a behavioral disorder.

“The attorneys disagree with the reports’ conclusions but when they are asked to offer alternatives, they become very silent.”

The prosecutor maintained that the reports were the result of careful examinations, adding that defendant Curtley R. has “a tremendous alcohol problem combined with a low IQ.”


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