Revenge burglary nets young criminals suspended sentences

POSTED: 03/31/11 12:06 PM

St. Maarten – An attempt to take revenge for his dismissal by the Great Bay Beach Hotel by burglarizing the home of the Banducci-family on Cannegieterstreet, ended in the Court in First Instance yesterday.
Maychel Daniel Dorothea, 21, and one of his partners in crime, 18-year old Michaelangel Labega, received near identical suspended prison sentences of 3 and 2 months respectively. The court imposed a 2-year probation period and during this time both burglars are under supervision of the Rehabilitation Bureau.
Both men also spent about 3 months in a police cell in preventive custody after their arrest last year.

The loot the burglars took from the family home consisted of an iPod, two video cameras, three digital cameras, a Breitling watch, a Rolex and an IWC-style watch, three laptops, a flat screen TV, gold jewelry, two women’s watches (a Movado and a Raymond Wiell), and $951 in cash.

Labega showed up 35 minutes late for his trial, while his mother and grandmother were waiting in the court room and the teenager had a meeting at his lawyer’s office just an hour prior to the hearing.

The boy, who was also charged with another burglary on November 25 in a home on the Cactus Road, reluctantly admitted his involvement in the earlier burglary, whereby he had thrown a rock through a window to facilitate access. He denied involvement in the November 25 burglary, and because there was no corroborating evidence in the file next to a single witness statement, prosecutor Mr. B. den Hartigh asked the court to acquit the defendant of this charge.

Labega never went to school until age 14, and then only for a short time, because he started working when he was 15. Currently the boy is unemployed, but he said that his uncle was “supposed to give him a job” though he could not tell the court what kind of work he would be doing or what kind of work his uncle was doing.

An evaluation report showed that the defendant, who claimed that he stopped smoking and selling marijuana, is “behind in education and moral development” and that he is easily influenced by others.

Prosecutor Den Hartigh took into account that Labega spent 3 months in a police cell for the November 25 burglary – and for that fact the prosecutor asked for an acquittal. The other burglary he considered proven. He demanded a 6-month suspended prison sentence, with 2 years of probation plus the obligation to follow a social skills training. For the duration of the probation, Labega will remain under the supervision of the Rehabilitation Bureau.

Labega’s attorney mr. S.R. Bommel had little to add to the prosecutor’s demand. “My client wants to better his life and he is prepared to follow instructions from the Rehabilitation Bureau.

Judge mr. M. Keppels mitigated the sentence and condemned the teenager to a 2 month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation, and followed the prosecution in the other demands.

Labega’s partner in crime, 21-year-old Maychel Daniel Dorothea had been the instigator of the burglary – a revenge for his dismissal at the great Bay Beach Hotel. A baseball player, an avid marijuana smoker and a young man living with an aggressive stepfather, he left the court with a 3 month conditional sentence and similar conditions as Labega.

His attorney mr. G. Hatzmann asked the court in vain to declare his client guilty without imposing a penalty, though he admitted that he could use some support to stay out of trouble. “He did not have a pleasant youth, there was a chronic lack of money, he was neglected and he had to deal with an aggressive stepfather,” Hatzmann said.


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