Demand again 8 years for fratricide

POSTED: 03/10/13 4:39 PM

St. Maarten – Solicitor-General Taco Stein demanded 8 years against Charles Tristan Samuel for fatally shooting his brother Jamal on February 12 of last year. The demand equals the sentence the Court in First Instance handed down on July 4 of last year. Samuel’s attorney Cor Merx asked the court to acquit his client. The Common Court of Justice will pronounce its verdict on March 27.

The defendant told the court he appealed his verdict because he considers the shooting to be an accident.”The gun went off during a struggle,” he said.
The solicitor-general said that there was conditional intent to kill, because two shots had been fired. “The question remains: who had the gun?” attorney Stein said. “The defendant is the only one who has stated that Jamal had the weapon, but witnesses have stated differently. My conclusion is that the defendant had the weapon and that shots were fired.”
mr. Stein ruled out self defense.”At the end of the day there are only losers in this case. But what’s next for the family and for the defendant who killed his brother. I do not think that a low sentence is justified. Family drama or not, in the biblical sense this is fratricide.”

Attorney Cor Merx took offense with the short time the solicitor-general took to formulate his demand. “Never before have had I heard anybody demand 8 years of imprisonment in such a short time,” he said. “Eight years in eight minutes – that is one minute for every year.”
Grumpiness aside, mr. Merx said that his client did not accept the verdict from the Court in First Instance because he had no intention to kill his older brother. “The witness statements contradict each other, but they contain sufficient support for self defense and for a justification of my client’s actions.”
mr. Merx also contested the solicitor-general’s demand: “eight years is much too high, it is a double punishment.”
The attorney said that is understandable that his client finally stood up against his aggressive older brother. “Charles knows that his brother has weapons and that he has joined a gang.”
mr. Merx said that not his client, but Jamal had entered the argument brandishing a gun. Based on this position, he said that his client was at most guilty of negligent homicide – but he has not been charged with that. Attorney Merx asked the court therefore to acquit the 25-year-old defendant.

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