Romeijn-robbers go down hard

POSTED: 06/3/11 7:12 PM

Prosecution may appeal two verdicts

St. Maarten – Stevie Adolphus Richardson was sentenced to 22 years and 10 months imprisonment on Wednesday for a string of violent crimes – among them the robbery and kidnapping on October 16 of last year in Maho that resulted in the death of 45-year-old Dutchman Wouter-Jan Romeijn. A second defendant, Alesco Elvio Violenus, was sentenced to 19 years.
The prosecution demanded 30 and 26 years respectively against the two men. Because the verdict is more than twenty percent lower than the demand, it is likely that the prosecutor’s office will appeal.
Omar Nelson, the third defendant in the case, was sentenced to 18 years, four years below the prosecution’s demand. Nelson, aka Chucky, escaped from the Pointe Blanche prison on March 19 and is still on the lam, though he has been spotted on several occasions, at least one time when he was reportedly dressed as a woman.
The fourth defendant, repeat-offender Julio Caesar Encarnacion-Vargas, who was not involved in the Romeijn-case but in a string of other crimes, was sentenced to 15 years and 4 months imprisonment.
Two brothers of Wouter-Jan Romeijn were present in the courtroom when Judge Mr. M. Keppels pronounced her verdicts. Confronted with the possibility that the prosecutor’s office would appeal at least two of the verdicts, Marten Romeijn said that for him the case was closed now and that he would not return from Bonaire to St. Maarten for future court proceedings.
The defendants maintained their stoic and disinterested attitude during Wednesday’s court session.
Omar Nelson, Alescio Violenus and Stevie Richardson were all three involved in the dramatic robbery on October 16 of last year, whereby they first robbed Romeijn, then came back to force him into the trunk of their car because they wanted to squeeze the access codes of his credit cards out if him. But when they drove at high speed over the Friendly Island Boulevard in Maho they hit a speed bump, the trunk flew open and Romeijn either jumped or fell out of the car. Half an hour later, he was dead.
A security video showed the victim walking towards Mullet Bay at a quarter past two at night on October 16. Six minutes later a silver colored car passed driving in the same direction, and seven minutes after that the same car returned, driving at high speed. After the car disappeared from the camera’s reach, the video showed “something white” lying on the street near the roundabout across from the airport runway. That was Wouter-Jan Romeijn. He passed away shortly after witnesses found him.
An hour and a half before this crime, the three robbers had stolen the silver-colored car from a couple on the French side during a violent robbery whereby shots were fired, the male victim was ill-treated, and his girlfriend robbed of her handbag.
Because the theft of the car was closely related to the Romeijn-robbery, the prosecutor’s office decided after consultation with the French side authorities to prosecute that crime on the Dutch side as well. The defendants are also suspects in several serious crimes on the French side. Among them is the rape of an intern who worked at the Nature foundation in August of last year and possibly also a murder.
The French side authorities will have to wait prosecuting these criminals until they have served their time in Pointe Blanche.
The other crimes the men were been sentenced for include the robbery of a pizza deliveryman on March 6 of this year in Dutch quarter, the theft of a scooter on June 8 of last year in Dutch Quarter whereby the young owner was threatened with a hunting rifle, the armed robbery of a couple in Dawn beach on October 10 of last year, an armed robbery in Cole Bay on the same day, an armed robbery on a motorist on October 14 and an armed robbery in Guana Bay on October 12 at a villa occupied by four tourists.
The court acquitted the defendants of membership of a criminal organization.

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