Double jeopardy for young criminal

POSTED: 11/29/12 2:42 PM

St. Maarten – At the tender age of 16, Kerby Degrammond was hit with two prison sentences in one go yesterday when Judge Tamara Tijhuis not only sent him for 30 months to prison for an attempted armed robbery and firearm possession, but also ordered the execution of a 12-month conditional sentence the teenager had to his name.

On August 10, Degrammond robbed the Blue Fox supermarket together with someone else. A police patrol passed by while the robbery was in progress; when the defendant attempted to flee the scene, police fired shots at him. One bullet hit him in his behind.

The court acquitted the boy of a robbery on a bus driver, committed shortly before the attempted robbery at the supermarket. Because there were two firearms involved in this robbery, while only one gun was found by police at the supermarket, the prosecution already had asked the court for an acquittal.

For the attempt to rob the Blue Fox supermarket, Degrammond and the second robber used a gun and a machete.

Judge Tijhuis decided to make part of the sentence conditional, in spite of the fact that the defendant attempted to rob the supermarket while he was on probation for a previous conviction. “This way the court attempts to make it clear to this very young defendant that he should not commit any more crimes in the future,” the ruling states.

The court sentenced Degrammond to 30 months, of which 12 months are conditional, but it also ordered the execution of the 12 months from the previous conviction.

“considering the defendant’s age, the sentence has to be served in an environment that is separated from adult inmates, while a program with facilities for youngsters has to be offered,” Judge Tijhuis ruled.

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