Man who killed diabetic sister faces same sentence on appealPOSTED: 01/27/12 2:50 PM
St. Maarten – Solicitor-general mr. Anton van der Schans demanded 11 years and 6 months imprisonment against Riviere George; the demand is equal to the sentence George is currently serving for the manslaughter on his diabetic 42-year-old sister Angie Leblanc-George on April 22, 2010.
At the request of the solicitor general, police inspector Muller-Reina appeared as a witness to establish the exact circumstances under which investigators found the body. The inspector confirmed that there were no blood splatters around the body, and that blood had only been found under the victim’s head after the body was moved.
This became a crucial point for the prosecution, after it had to let go of an incriminating testimony against the defendant on technical grounds. This testimony was key to George’s conviction in the Court in First Instance.
But even without it, mr. Van der Schans said, there is sufficient evidence to convict the defendant.
The police officers who were first on the scene initially said that George did not have any blood on his clothing. Later some clothing was confiscated for analysis and it turned out the victim’s blood was on it.
George has always claimed his innocence and said that he had found his sister dead in her home, and that he had lain next to her crying – thus explaining the blood on his clothing.
mr. Van der Schans however, noted that the defendant had claimed that he had looked at his deceased sibling from a distance and that he had never touched her. “There is no reasonable explanation for the blood on his clothing,” he said. ”He must have taken her life. There is sufficient evidence to prove that this gentleman killed his sister.”
mr. Van der Schans said that there is no proof for murder, because the case file contains no evidence of premeditation.
George’s attorney mr. Shaira Bommel said that several witness statements were unreliable and that the blood on her client’s clothing is not necessarily related to the crime. “The clothing has not been secured according to standards for forensic investigations.”
mr. Bommel maintained that her client had lain next to his sister’s body and that he had held her in his arms. Her main point was the conclusions the prosecution arrived at based on the forensic evidence. “Those DNA-results must be interpreted very carefully,” she said.
mr. Bommel also pointed out that her client had become the sole suspect too quick; “One witness said he saw an unknown man come from the house in Sucker Garden around ten thirty. That has never been investigated.”
George maintained his innocence in court. “I had a good relationship with my sister,” he said.
The appeals court will pronounce its ruling in Curacao on February 16.