Court sentences deported robber to 18 years

POSTED: 11/29/12 3:02 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Leon Shaphan Olson Griffin to 18 years imprisonment for a series of armed robberies and firearm possession but it is doubtful whether the convict will ever spend that time in prison. Griffin was arrested on February 18, but in April he was released from detention at the orders of the Judge of Instruction. The robber, aka Black Child, was detained in Simpson Bay and he was not admitted to the day program in Pointe Blanche. Upon his release immigration deported him to his native St. Kitts. He did not return to attend his trial or the reading of the verdict. In a way, that was smart, because Judge Tijhuis ordered his imprisonment yesterday.

Leon G. confessed to armed robberies at the Jiabo supermarket in Fort Willem on October 24 of last year, Jay’s Dollar Store on December 9, the Golden Ocean supermarket on December 17, the Ho supermarket on December 29 and 30, and the St. Peters supermarket on January 11. Nine other robberies the defendant confessed to were added ad informandum to the charges. The loot from all robberies combined is estimated at $3,150.

At the trial on November 7, Griffin’s attorney Nerissa de La Rosa told the court that her client withdrew his confessions, but Judge Tijhuis did not accept it. “In terms of legal evidence the attorney’s statement does not qualify as a statement by the defendant. The confessions for the nine ad informandum cases stand.”

The court also dismissed the defense-argument that Griffin’s arrest on February 18 was unlawful. The defendant was a passenger in a car with a youthful looking driver. A police patrol stopped the care to verify the driver’s age. Griffin got out of the car a placed a firearm underneath the vehicle. Police officers spotted the move and arrested Griffin for firearm possession.

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