Prosecution demands 7 years against teen robbery suspect

POSTED: 11/1/12 12:00 PM

St. Maarten – Prosecutor Georges van den Eshof demanded 7 years imprisonment against 18-year-old M.M. in the Court in First Instance yesterday for robbing three supermarkets in St. Peters and for firearm possession. Attorney Shaira Bommel asked the court to acquit her client. Judge Tamara Tijhuis will pronounce her verdict on November 21.

The defendant is accused of robbing the Man Chung supermarket on December 22 of last year and of robbing the Dessam and the Sunshine supermarket both on the same day, on January 3. On May 25, police officers found a firearm in a car that had apparently been abandoned by the defendant.
The defendant denied his involvement in the crimes. “I don’t involve myself in criminal activities,” he told the court.”
“But you were sentenced three times for similar facts in Guadeloupe,” Judge Tijhuis said. “And you told the police you were involved in a robbery on the French side. To which the defendant responded that he had not been convicted in Guadeloupe at all – he had just been in a boot camp for six months. He denied the statement about the robbery on the French side.

Witnesses recognized the defendant in a photo-confrontation, but attorney Bommel said that these confrontations had taken place between five and seven months after the robberies and that not all witnesses were sure of their case.
“My client has a tea-tattoo under his left eye and none of the witnesses has mentioned this. Leon Griffin has committed 18 robberies during the same period. It is very well possible that also committed these robberies.”
The firearm was found in an abandoned car and according to witnesses, M. fit the description of the car’s driver.
Prosecutor Van den Eshof noted that the three victims of the robberies all had looked at ten pictures in a photo confrontation. “And they all picked out the defendant.”

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