Smooth talker punished for threats with machete

POSTED: 09/18/12 12:51 PM

St. Maarten – Rikinaldo Francisco Murray was described by his mother as a smooth talker and also as a potentially dangerous man. On February 21 he threatened a neighbor with a machete and that netted him in the Court in First Instance last week a 12-month conditional prison sentence, with 3 years of probation and supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau that could include admission to Turning Point to undergo anger management training. Once he has completed that part of his sentence, he’ll have to do 80 hours of community service.

Murray, who is 41, got into a confrontation with his neighbor, claiming that he was destroying his fence and throwing rocks onto his property. Judge Tamara Tijhuis read from the file that the defendant lives with his mother and that he’s been treating her so badly that she has fled the house.
Prosecutor Dounia Benammar said that the defendant had threatened the neighbor with his machete and that this is why the neighbor had started to throw stones to defend himself. Murray claimed that the neighbor had started to throw stones first.

The prosecutor noted that the defendant has a long criminal record that includes ill-treatment and armed robbery. She demanded 15 months imprisonment with 2 years of probation and a prolonged stay at Turning Point where he was already admitted before the trial.
“My client has been staying at Turning Point since July for perceived aggression problems,” attorney Geert Hatzmann told the court. “He has admitted to what happened, but this happened in February and he now has the feeling that this is like raking up the past. He feels that he is going to be punished twice: he is already in treatment and now this.”
mr. Hatzmann said that the prosecutor’s demand is considerable. “Fifteen months; for repeated burglary you never get more than one year.” The attorney asked the court to mitigate the sentence, adding that community service “is not the solution.”
“You came on to your neighbor with a machete and he answered by throwing stones at you. The victim was trembling on his legs, this was a frightening experience,” mr. Tijhuis said. “Threatening someone with a weapon is serious, especially when this is done by someone who has been punished in the past for using violence.”

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