Four years for attack on Chucky

POSTED: 01/31/14 1:02 AM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced two men yesterday to 4 years imprisonment for their involvement in a stabbing in the Pointe Blanche prison on May 4 of last year that left the victim, Omar Smith Nelson, better known under his nickname Chucky, seriously injured. The court acquitted both defendants, Gilbert Chevalier and Jermaine Emanuel Carty of attempted murder or manslaughter, but sentenced them for causing their victim serious bodily harm. Carty was almost at the end of serving a 6-year sentence for attempted murder.

Chevalier’s attorney Shaira Bommel said at the court hearing on January 8 that Chevalier is not an accomplice in the ill-treatment because he did not actively take part in the attack on Chucky. The court ruled however that it is possible to be an accomplice in a crime without actually taking part in it. The prerequisite is close and conscious cooperation.

Based on the statements of two witnesses and the victim, the court became convinced that such cooperation existed between the two defendants and a third man, Kerry Wilson. “The defendant and his accomplices entered the sewing room together and left it together after the ill-treatment,” the court ruling states. Besides, the victim told police that Chevalier also had attacked him.

On May 4 of last year, the two defendants entered the sewing room in the prison together with Kerry Wilson and a fourth man who was later acquitted. They attacked Chucky, who was in the process of cleaning the room, with an improvised machete and an icepick. The attackers cut a tendon and caused their victim several cut and stab wounds that resulted in serious blood loss. A medical report stated, rather ambiguously, that it is likely that the injuries would result in continued inability to work, and later added that it would take up to 12 weeks for the injuries to heal.

The court considered the injuries as serious. “Especially considering that cut and stab wounds remain visible as scars that are disfiguring for the rest of someone’s life.”

The court considered the attack on Chucky “well prepared and well-coordinated” and stated that inmates ought to be able to feel secure within the prison. The court holds it against both defendants that they have not provided any motive for their attack on Chucky.

The victim himself made quite some headlines back in 2011 when he escaped from the Pointe Blanche prison where he was held as a suspect in a series of violent crimes. He stayed on the run for 162 days; while he was on the lam, the court sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment for among others an armed robbery that ended in the death of Dutchman Wouter-Jan Romeijn on October 16, 2010. While he was on the run, Chucky was involved in another robbery – this one without fatal consequences for the victim – and that cost him another 6 years behind bars. Finally, the court added one year to his rap sheet for his prison escape, putting him effectively away for 25 years.

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