Suspects Regatta-murders on trial tomorrow

POSTED: 11/22/11 9:15 AM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance is bracing for a long session when the trial against two men who stand accused of the three Regatta-murders and a gang rape tomorrow morning. Judge mr. M. Keppels has cleared the court’s agenda from nine o’clock in the morning until the end of the day. The morning session of the court on Thursday is also kept free for this trial.

The defendants are two men from Dominica, Curtley Allison R., 31, and Sherwan R., 20. They are accused of murdering Ludovic Guillevin in Mullet Bay in the night of February 25 to 26. Six days later, in the night of March 3 they allegedly killed Eduardo Nova Valdez, and in the morning of March 4 Foidel Luis became the third victim.
During the night of February 12 to 13 the two men allegedly raped a woman multiple times, after having taken her in their car to a remote location.
The two defendants were in court for the first time on September 14. The trial was postponed awaiting a psychiatric report about both men. The defense attorneys, mr. Shaira Bommel and Geert Hatzmann, appreciated the postponement, because the defendants had been brought back from Curacao only one day before the court date, and they had not had the opportunity to discuss the case with their clients.
Ludovic Guillevin, the 37-year-old French chef aboard the luxury yacht Cheetah Moon, arrived in St. Maarten on Friday, February 25. The next morning he was dead.
He went out with friends to Jimbo’s bar in the evening and later went out alone. In all likelihood he took a gipsy cab. The next morning he was found dead in Mullet Bay with stab wounds and head injuries.
Eduardo Nova Valdez was found on the G. Alexis Arnell Road, commonly known as the Cakehouse Road on the morning of March 3. Pictures suggested that the 61-year-old had been forced on his knees and then shot execution style.
The next morning, the murdered body of Foidel Luis, a 46-year-old security guard, was found near Learning Unlimited in Cay Hill. He was beaten to death with a piece of wood.
In between, on the evening of Friday March 4, 49-year-old Emilio de Leon-Reyes was shot to death in Dutch Quarter, but the two suspects have not been charged with this crime.
The two defendants also stand accused of two violent robberies on February 12 and 13 respectively, the so-called Zoo-case and the Etna-case. The gang rape on February 13 has been dubbed the aqua-case by investigators.
The two defendants were arrested on April 7. At a well attended press conference at the police station, attended by Dutch and French-side media later that month, Chief Prosecutor mr. Hans Mos and Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte provided background on the spectacular development.
“Senior detectives from the special Robberies Unit added very valuable information to the regatta-investigation,” Mos said. “They pointed out that in recent weeks and months on similar locations a series of serious crimes had been committed. The regatta-investigation team focused on three police reports concerning two violent robberies and a rape. During this side step investigation stolen goods could be tracked to three suspects. That led to the suspicion that these three men were involved in the robberies and the rape.”
Once the suspects were identified, located, and finally arrested on April 7, detectives started to interrogate the men. After they confessed to the robberies and the rape on February 12 and 13, detectives quizzed them about the three murders. “One after the other started to give detailed information about the crimes in Mullet Bay, Cay Hill and the Cakehouse Road. Sometimes they were implying a co-suspect, sometimes they admitted to their own role.”
It is at this moment unclear whether the three murders, the two robberies and the rape are the “only” charges against the two defendants. In April, Chief Prosecutor Mos said there was reason to believe that the men had been involved in more violent crimes.

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