Defendant implicates owner Robbie’s Lottery in shooting – Dr. Friday Demand 2 years of imprisonment for firing deadly assault rifle

POSTED: 06/13/14 11:21 AM

St. Maarten – David Arthur R. had a compelling story for the Court in First Instance about how he came to possess a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, an assault weapon Colt markets as a variance of the military M16. On February 17 of last year, the defendant was at the beach in Guana Bay where he started firing the rifle at around 9.45 p.m. Alerted by neighborhood residents, police arrested him shortly afterwards and confiscated the military grade assault rifle he kept on the backseat of his pickup.

The AR-15 police confiscated is a weapon produced by Rock River Arms in Colona, Illinois and uses 5.56×45 mm Nato special rounds. According to the prosecution the weapon is accurate at a distance of around 500 meters. Its bullets pierce everything covering this distance, including trees.

The defendant admitted that he had the weapon. “I had it for my protection,” he said – a common argument for people who are dragged into court for firearm possession. R. said that threats had been made to his family and that a cousin of his had been shot in front of his office last year. The cousin appeared to be gynecologist Dr. Randall Friday, who was indeed shot at the end of November of last year in front of the Yogesh Building.

The court attempted in vain to find out more about the background of the threats the defendant claimed to have received. “I was not personally threatened and I don’t know the background of these threats,” he said. “But they shot at my son before and they threatened to come back and finish the job.”

R. then revealed that his cousin Friday is a partner in the My Lucky Day lottery, and he implied that Robbie dos Santos, owner of Robbie’s Lottery could have something to do with this. “The owner of Robbie’s Lottery was none too happy when my cousin received his permit,” R. told the court. “I am not saying Robbie did it, I have no proof for that, but it must be something along these lines.”

Asked where he had obtained the assault rifle, R. told the court he had bought it three days before his arrest from 2-Pac, whose real name is, or rather was, Rodrigue Bernard Cocks. Ironically, the day before police arrested R., 2-Pac was killed in a drive-by shooting in French Quarter.

It is not the first time the name of the deceased 2-Pac surfaces in a court case. In March the Court in First Instance sentenced Gregory Hinds to 12 months for firearm possession. “Someone was after me with a machine gun,” Hinds told the court, and it soon turned out that he claimed this to be 2-Pac – a statement the prosecution dismissed at the time: “Everyone knows 2-Pac is dead so it is easy to make statements about him.”

R. went to the beach in Guana Bay to test his weapon, he told the court yesterday. Ear witnesses who called the police heard at least 16 shots.

Asked by prosecutor Tineke Kamps why he had bought the weapon while the shooting of Dr. Friday had happened already a few months earlier, the defendant said: “I was not sure, I know this sounds crazy (“It does,” the prosecutor interjected) but I was not sure whether I should get the weapon. I knew it is illegal.”

Prosecutor Kamps pointed out that the weapon is accurate of 500 meters and that its bullets go through trees. “I shot towards the water,” R. replied.

R., a shipping agent, was behind bars from February 18 until March 4. Because he was not transferred within two times 24 hours from the police station to Pointe Blanche as the court had ordered, he was released from pretrial detention.

Prosecutor Kampos said that the police have never found the bullets R. fired in February. “I have trouble following your story, because the shooting of Dr. Friday happened months earlier, so the reason why you bought the weapon is unclear to me. Maybe you had other plans, I don’t know.”

Because R. had actually used the weapon, the prosecutor deviated from the standard demand of 1-year imprisonment for firearm possession. “This is a dangerous weapon, that also plays a part,” she said. “You took a big risk and you are not going to get away with community service.”

The prosecutor demanded 2 years of imprisonment.

R.’s attorney Eldon Sulvaran asked the court to declare the prosecution inadmissible. “My client spent two days too long in a police cell. The prosecution intentionally did not abide by the court order to transfer him to Pointe Blanche. That is a serious procedural violation.”

The court will pronounce its verdict on July 2.

 

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Defendant implicates owner Robbie’s Lottery in shooting - Dr. Friday Demand 2 years of imprisonment for firing deadly assault rifle by

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