Due to postponement of appeal hearing – Otto remains in Pointe Blanche at least until March next year

POSTED: 11/8/12 2:41 PM

GREAT BAY – Stripped of his wild dreadlocks and outwardly calm Devon Otto appeared in the Joint court of Justice yesterday afternoon for his appeal against his June 27 conviction for shooting Lysandro Alvin Kani and Steven Ansel Servanie in the Sentro di Detenshon i Korekshon in Willemstad on September 13 of last year. On top of the 9 years imprisonment the Court in First Instance handed down for these shootings, Otto was already serving a 30-year sentence for killing census office employee Stanley Gumbs in a case of mistaken identity on March 31,, 2008, for an attempt on the life of Louis a. Richardson, aka Sticky on March 21, 2008 and for robbing three American tourists on March 26 of the same year.

“I did not shoot anybody,” Otto told presiding judge F.J. Lourens after she asked him why he had appealed the verdict for the shooting in Curacao.

Otto’s attorney Shaira Bommel asked the court to postpone the case because she did not have a copy of the June 27 sentence and not an overview of the evidence against her client. She also asked the court for a report from the Dutch Forensic Institute NFI containing the results of tests on Otto’s clothing and on trace evidence from his hands to determine whether or not he had fired a gun.

Judge Lourens made her copy of the verdict and the evidence available to mr. Bommel but after a brief consultation with her client, the attorney announced that she preferred to wait for the NFI-report.

Judge Lourens postponed the case until March 6 of next year.

The decision means that Otto will remain at least until that hearing, and most likely until the ruling that could come three weeks later on March 27, detained in the Pointe Blanche prison.

After his arrest for the Stanley Gumbs murder, Otto became unmanageable in the Pointe Blanche prison and he was transferred to Curacao, where he shot two inmates – possibly on the orders of a rivaling drugs gang.

Justice Minister Roland Duncan wants to transfer Otto to a prison in the Netherlands, because he considers him too dangerous for detention in Pointe Blanche. There is an agreement in principle for this transfer, but the Dutch authorities want to wait until the legal proceedings in St. Maarten have concluded.

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