Vesuvius-convict back in court for Bada Bing-fight

POSTED: 08/7/13 11:31 AM

St. Maarten – Vesuvius-convict Erno Labega Jr. returns to the Court in First Instance this morning for the continuation of an unrelated charge – his role in a fight at the Bada Bing adult entertainment club in February, 2011. On December 5 of last year, Labega was already in court for this matter but on that day, he totally lost it.

Using an avalanche of choice words that start with the sixth letter of the alphabet the 29-year-old insulted Public Prosecutor Georges van den Eshof and Judge Tamara Tijhuis, until the latter ordered guards to take the defendant out of her court room and back to his cell in Pointe Blanche.

Attempts by Labega’s attorney Peggy Ann Brandon to calm down her client had no effect. She told the court that her client was being threatened in the prison, that he had been attacked and that he was hardly able to move.

Three weeks before his court appearance, the Court in First Instance had sentenced Labega together with six others in the so-called Vesuvius-case to 6 years imprisonment. The Vesuvius-case ended with life sentences for the two main suspects, Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson. Jones and Richardson were sentenced for the murders of Miguel Hector and Rodolfo Arrindell (on May 25 and July 7, 2011 respectively), Eric Lake and Kevin Gumbs on August 17, 2011), attempted murder of Omax Bye, attempted manslaughter on Kennedy Fergus (both on April 20, 2011) and on O.D. Furgentia (on August 17, 2011), firearm possession and membership of a criminal organization.

Labega was sentenced for his role in tracking down Omax Bye, the alleged killer of Omar Jones’ brother Amador on April 16, 2011.

The case at hand today deals with a fight in Bada Bing, whereby the defendant allegedly ill-treated a man who had dared to disrespect his girlfriend Dominique. Labega has a different version of what happened. He claimed there was a fight going on in the club when he arrived but that he had not taken part in it. Witnesses have made incriminating statements about the defendant.

The victim had a different story. He went to the bathroom and when he came back a woman was sitting on his barstool. When he asked her to move, she reportedly got angry and attempted to hit him. When that did not work she went outside and came back with “five or six guys” – Labega among them. “Andrew disrespected Erno’s girlfriend,” one witness told the police.

The victim told police that Labega hit him on his head with a bottle and that others hit and kicked him. He sustained a black eye, scratches and bruises. “He got a serious beating,” Judge Tijhuis observed in December while showing pictures to the defendant.

At that point the defendant became restless and excited. “The tape will contradict everything these people say,” he shouted. Then he started insulting the judge and the prosecutor, bringing his December-appearance to a premature end.

This morning at 10 a.m. the case is scheduled to continue – without any doubt with the video images of the fight.


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