Drugs-related murder punished with 14 years

POSTED: 07/25/13 1:06 PM

Stevenson Pindercmyk

Stevenson Pinder enters the courthouse in this July 4, 2013 file picture. Photo Today / Leo Brown

One convict Gumbs-killing still on the run

St. Maarten – Stevenson Pinder underwent his sentencing for the Gaston Gumbs murder yesterday with visible and increasing frustration. “This is not right,” he said after the verdict. Before he left the courtroom, he turned to Judge Mr. Tamara Tijhuis and prosecutor Mr. Tineke Kamps, saying, “You know I did not do this.” The court had a different opinion and sentenced Pinder, 39, and his fugitive co-defendant Sobiesky Parrondo, 25, both to 14 years of imprisonment for the November 10, 2012 drugs-related murder. The sentence is identical to the prosecutor Mr. Gonda van der Wulp’s demand at the trial on July 4.

Pinder and Parrondo met with Gumbs, a 50-year old French Quarter resident near the cigar lounge in Sucker Garden on the evening of November 10 of last year to seal a 25-kilo cocaine deal. The deal went sour and Gumbs ended up with two bullets in his head, after which his killers set the body on fire.

The court ruling shows that the forensic department identified the badly burned body from fingerprints. Gumbs’ “dactyloscopic profile” appears in the forensic department’s databank, indicating that the victim has had brushes with the law, though no details about his criminal past surfaced in the court ruling.

Parrondo did not appear in court for the trial on July 4; he escaped from detention at the police station on June 23 and he has disappeared without a trace.

The court based its evidence for the conviction on the numerous phone contacts between the two defendants, a cousin of Pinder and the victim on the day of the murder. Between a quarter past ten in the morning and shortly after seven thirty in the evening investigators found 32 phone contacts – lasting from 6 to 68 seconds. The last contact between Gumbs, nicknamed Brasi, and Pinder was recorded at 7.33 p.m.

A man nicknamed Pala – a cousin of Pinder – said that Gumbs told him he wanted to buy 25 kilos of “material.”

“Gumbs assumed I was able to deliver 25 kilos of cocaine,” Pinder confirmed to investigators.

The court ruling does not answer the question why the deal went sour, but it appears that Gumbs come to the meeting near the Cigar Lounge empty-handed. His son Maradona later told police that he had searched his father’s house when he did not return from the appointment and that he had found a bag stuffed with a large amount of money. According to Sobiesky Parrondo’s attorney Mr. Geert Hatzmann, he later gave that bag to three men who had come to the house.

The court concluded that the defendants and the victim had had numerous contacts on the day of the murder and that they had spoken about a drugs deal. Telecom-data pinpoint the location of the victim and the two murder-suspects near the cigar lounge around the time Gumbs was murdered. Video-footage from security-cameras supports this evidence. The victim’s son Maradona confirmed to investigators that Pinder had borrowed his father’s car, that he had driven his father to Sucker Garden and that his father later told him Pinder was on his way from the Lowlands.

The defendants filled a water bottle with gas at the DP-station in Dutch Quarter and they bought a lighter and cigarettes while none of them smokes.

The court ruled that the killing is premeditated, because Pinder and Parrondo took a firearm along to their meeting and because the victim was shot in the back of his head.

After the murder, the killers set the victim’s body on fire. They took his car to Galisbay on the French side and set the vehicle on fire in the middle of the night.

 

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