Trial against absent serial robber postponed

POSTED: 05/3/12 5:15 PM

St. Maarten – Between October 24 of last year and February 17 of this year Leon Shaphan Olson G. committed no less than seventeen armed robberies, almost exclusively against Chinese supermarkets. The 25-year-old, who was released from pretrial custody at the order of the Judge of Instruction two weeks ago, robbed his victims of at least between $2,450 and $2,700.

The robberies took place on October 24, December 8, 17, 29 (twice), and 3 (three times).

This year the defendant continued to ply his trade on January 3 (three times), 11, and February 2, 10 and 17.

The defendant was released from detention at the Simpson Bay immigration detention center mid-April, after the Judge of Instruction concluded that he had not been taken daily to the Pointe day program. Currently, Simpson Bay has its own day program. Leon G. was handed over to immigration after his release and promptly deported to his native St. Kitts.

He was therefore not present in court yesterday morning. His attorney mr. Nerissa De la Rosa asked the court to postpone the case to allow for a psychological evaluation of her client and also because she had insufficient time to prepare her defense.

Prosecutor mr. Gonda van der Wulp objected to both requests, because from the police report she had not gained the impression that G. is suffering from a psychological disorder. mr. De la Rosa said that her client made a confused impression during the visits she had paid to him while he was still in detention.

Judge mr. Monique Keppels agreed with the prosecution by rejecting the request for the psychological evaluation, even if that could be done in St. Kitts as the attorney suggested.

The judge did grant a postponement for an undetermined amount of time. Because of the defendant’s absence and because he is no longer on the island, his summons will have to be posted for a period of six weeks before it is possible to hear the case.

“I notice that the attorney is not prepared to conduct the defense. The defendant should not become the victim of this situation. But you could have asked an associate at your office to take over if you did not have time to do the case,” she said.

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