Sentence reductions soften punishment for four violent robbers and car thieves

POSTED: 04/8/11 11:54 AM

St. Maarten –Three 20-year-old St. Maarteners and one 27-year-old Aruban found some reprieve in court yesterday when Judge Mr. M. Keppels pronounced her verdict on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, multiple car thefts, firearm possession and membership of a criminal organization. The prosecution demanded prison sentences of up to 10 years at the trial on March 16, but the court went easier on the four defendants by handing down verdicts from 28 months to 7 years and six months.

Judge Keppels sentenced Roland Timothy Joseph, 20, to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment; Edwin Alexander Arrindell, 20, to 77 months, Jermaine Jared Mathilda, 20, to 68 months; and Michael Demitro Cranston, 27, to 28 months. All convicts have prior convictions to their name.

The court acquitted all defendants of membership of a criminal association and voided a charge for multiple but non-specified car thefts.

Proving membership of a criminal association requires “a collaboration with a certain permanence and structure between the defendant and at least one other person,” Keppels wrote in her considerations. “There is insufficient proof for such a structure.”

The Judge acknowledged that the group of friends had “committed a large number of crimes, but that there is no proof of close tuning of systematic actions.”

Joseph was sentenced for fencing, armed robbery and attempted manslaughter; Arrindell for armed robbery, theft and firearm possession; Mathilda for armed robbery and theft; and Cranston for armed robbery and fencing.

The court confiscated a black baton from Joseph, as well as two red cartridges and seventeen bags containing marijuana. Arrindell received a sentence reduction of 7 months for the 7 weeks he spent too long in a police cell. Mathilda spent 9 weeks too long in a police cell and received a 10-month sentence reduction. Cranston, who spent 8 weeks too long in a police cell and received a sentence reduction of 8 months.

Joseph was sentenced for robbing a motorbike from R. Mitchell on July 17 of last year under bike-owner. He took the bike, because Mitchell owed him money.

Cousins Arrindell and Mathilda were involved in a violent robbery in Galis Bay on the French side on May 11, together with Omar Smith N., a defendant who escaped from prison recently and is still on the run.

On October 12, the cousins and Cranston robbed a man who was sleeping in his car in Cay Hill.

 

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