Prosecution appeals four verdicts in Vesuvius-case

POSTED: 11/29/12 3:12 PM

St. Maarten –Prosecutor  Gonda van der Wulp announced yesterday that her office will appeal the verdicts against Erno Labega Jr., Daniel Thomas, Charles Fleming and Andrew Davis who were all convicted on November 15 as members of a criminal organization led by Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson.

The prosecutor filed the appeal because the defendants were acquitted as accomplices in the so-called Tan Tan case – a shooting that occurred near this supermarket in Dutch Quarter (that in the meantime carries another name) on April 20 of last year whereby Omax Bye and Kennedy Fergus were the targets.

If the appeals court finds proof that the four were actually accomplices, they could face higher prison sentences. The prosecution also seeks proof for the involvement of Andrew Davis in the murders of Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs on August 17 of last year.

The Tan Tan shooting followed four days after Amador Jones was shot to death at the Under the Sun car wash and snack bar on the L.B. Scott road opposite the Jose Lake / John Cooper ball park.

Jones became a target after stealing ten kilos of cocaine from the rivaling drugs gang of Hector Miguel and Rodolfo Arrindell and demanding what the prosecution labeled a “criminal tax” for the drugs. Omax Bye is considered to be the man who executed Jones.

The victim’s brother Omar wanted “everybody dead” who had anything to do with Amador’s murder. It soon became clear in the underworld that Bye had pulled the trigger and when he was located in Dutch Quarter on April 20, Jones and Richardson went after him with heavy artillery.

Omax Bye survived the shooting because he was wearing a bullet proof vest and because Jones’ weapon malfunctioned.

The role Labega, Davis, Fleming and Thomas played in the hunt for Omax Bye is that of facilitators, not of accomplices, Judge Rick Smid ruled on November 15, but the prosecution disagrees and is seeking higher punishments.

The prosecution demanded 9 years against Andrew Davis; he was sentenced to 6 years. The demand against Labega was 10 years; he was sentenced to 6. Thomas was sentenced to 7 years, where the prosecution demanded 9 years and Fleming received a 5 year sentence after a demand of 8 years.


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