Teenager charged with attempted murder on man who bullied his brother

POSTED: 05/26/11 12:26 PM

St. Maarten – Delroy Devon Anthony F., a 17-year-old schoolboy, will know on June 15 whether the prosecution’s charge for attempted murder on Glenroy Mills will hold up. Until the day of the ruling, the teenager has an extensive punishment hanging over his head.
Prosecutor mr. M. Overmeer demand a 5-year and 24 days prison sentence, of which 5 years is suspended with a 3-year probation period. She also demanded that the boy performs 240 hours of community service, that he goes to school in September and that he is placed under house arrest until that time, except for the hours he is doing his community service. If plans to go to school in September fall through, the prosecutor wants the defendant to follow a training at the Victorious Living Foundation that will take one year to complete.
On February 15, the defendant’s younger brother Jermaine came home complaining that he had again been bullied by 23-year-old Glenroy Mills. The teenager got mad, picked up a machete and went looking for the bully on the block in Cole Bay. When he found him he attacked Mills with his machete. The victim sustained a 10 centimeter deep cut near his left ear, a severe slash on his left wrist as well as several cuts on his back and neck. According to the medical report, the injuries could have caused the victim’s death.
In court, the teenager claimed that when he confronted the victim, Mills had been the one who started the fight. He took the machete away from the younger man, and then a struggle followed whereby the defendant sustained a cut to his hand. He claimed that he got mad when he saw the blood and that that was the moment he started to chop his adversary.
F.’s attorney mr. S.R. Bommel said that her client and his family received threats from the victim after his release from pre-trial detention. After the court hearing was over, Bommel advised her client, who came to court in the company of his mother, to wait inside until the victim who attended the court hearing had put some distance between himself and the courthouse.
Judge mr. M. Keppels noted that the boy had been detained from February 15 until March 11, and that he does not go to school anymore because he fears for his life. A report from the Court of Guardianship expressed concern about the boy’s marijuana consumption. His father took action in that field by taking his son to Turning Point where he is regularly tested on drug use. One such test was done the day before yesterday and it came back negative, confirming the boy’s statement that he stopped smoking the drug.
To discuss the boy’s future school plans the trial continued for a brief period behind closed doors. The reason for this decision was to protect the defendant against retaliation from the victim. However, Mills’ attorney mr. C.H.J. Merx said that his client had no plans at all to take revenge.
Prosecutor Overmeer lectured the teenager about his behavior, saying that he had chosen the wrong method for solving a problem by taking the law into his own hands. She also addressed the bullying behavior of the victim towards the defendant’s 14-year-old brother. “You have to solve your problems by talking, or by involving people who are able to help, like your parents,” she said.
Overmeer concluded that the defendant had had ample time to think about his actions before he actually attacked Mills with the machete. About twenty minutes went by between the moment he heard that his brother had been harassed and the moment of the attack. “You went to Glenroy with the intention to use violence. My conclusion is that you had the intention to kill him. There is proof for attempted murder.”
The prosecutor asked the court to apply the adult penal code. At the same time, she lamented the lack of a juvenile penal code in St. Maarten. “The adult penal code often does not fit with the person of a minor. You would have to serve an unconditional prison sentence in a facility for adults because there is no juvenile facility.”
Overmeer said that the three weeks the defendant spent in pretrial detention are not enough punishment. “You cannot almost take somebody’s life and then be free on the streets again after three weeks,” she said. The prosecutor built an educational element into her demand. “What matters is that we need to prevent you doing this ever again,” she said.
mr. Bommel contested that her client had acted with malice aforethought. “There is no convincing evidence for attempted murder. That is a very heavy qualification,” she said. “My client is a first offender and he knows that what he did was wrong. He caused bodily harm, but at the moment it is even unclear whether this is grievous bodily harm.”
Bommel said that she did not understand the prosecution’s demand. “He has expressed regrets and now he is punished twice with a suspended sentence, with community service and with house arrest. That goes very far.”
Bommel asked the court to acquit her client of the attempted murder charge and to hand down a significant milder penalty.

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