Omission in summons lets gunman walk

POSTED: 10/1/14 5:27 PM

St. Maarten – On his last day in Court in Sint Maarten, Judge Koos van de Ven acquitted Edsel Servio R. of causing grievous bodily harm to a man whom he had shot in his upper leg because of an omission in the summons public prosecutor Karola van Nie had served the defendant.

The court ruled that the 36-year-old shooter had indeed caused his victim on March 12 grievous bodily harm, but that the prosecution had only charged him with attempted manslaughter and an attempt to cause grievous bodily harm.

“It has surprised the court very much and it is hard to understand why the public prosecutor in this case has not charged the defendant with a combination of attempted and completed crimes, such as: primary attempted manslaughter, secondary causing grievous bodily harm, more secondary an attempt to cause grievous bodily hard and finally ill-treatment. A summons with only two attempts as in the case at hand is, in the opinion of the court, taking unnecessary risks.”

The ruling furthermore states that the court understands very well that people may have a lot of problems with the outcome of the case. “The court points out that it handles cases based on the summons. It is the public prosecutor who determines, prior to the handling of the case, the content of the summons and it is also the prosecutor who is authorized to demand changes to the summons during the handling of the case. The court does not have an initiating role in this.”

The defendant admitted at the trial on September 10 that he was the first one to fire a shot in the direction of the victim. He also declared that he is a trained marksman because he used to hone his skills at shooting ranges in the Dominican Republic.

The court considered the legal requirements for the qualification “attempted manslaughter” first.” With a reference to the outcome of other court cases, the court concluded that there is no legal and convincing evidence that the defendant had the intention to take his victim’s life.” This resulted in an acquittal of the charge of attempted manslaughter.

Because the victim had undergone surgery after the shooting, and because he had spent six days in hospital, the court concluded that the qualification “grievous bodily harm” applies to this case. This led to the conclusion that the defendant completed his crime, but because the prosecution had only charged him with an attempt to do this, the court acquitted the shooter.

Did you like this? Share it:
Omission in summons lets gunman walk by

Comments are closed.