Robber gets 36 months for settling score

POSTED: 01/31/13 11:41 AM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Ricardo Leopold Mitchell to 36 months imprisonment for an armed robbery at the Christina Bar on Illidge Road on March 2, 2012. Of the sentence 6 months are suspended; the court imposed 3 years of probation.

At the trial on January 10 it appeared that the 22-year-old defendant went to the bar on the day before the incident to check out his target. The next day he came back with Terry Constant, who in the meantime was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment (with 2 years suspended) for his role. Mitchell told the court that he had dropped Constant off at the bar and that he left; upon his return he saw his friend in a fight with “a man who was stabbing him” and that he came to his rescue.

Witnesses told a different story to investigators, saying that Mitchell came to the bar the day before the incident and that he returned the next day with Constant. Both men went into the bar to their victim.

Constant told the police that Mitchell has asked him to come along “to collect money from someone,” adding, “if he does not pay I am going to take his necklace.”

The court rejected Mitchell’s defense that Constant’s statements about the incident were unreliable. Though Constant did not make consistent statements, the court ruled, they are supported on crucial parts by other evidence in the file.

Mitchell also suggested that there was a third man on the scene and that he could possibly have been the one to steal the necklace. The court did not find this plausible, because the defendant told this story for the first time in court – ten months after the robbery.

The prosecution demanded 4 years imprisonment at the trial. The court arrived at a lower sentence because the defendant does not have a criminal record. To prevent Mitchell from committing similar crimes in the future, the court suspended 6 months of the sentence

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