Vesuvius trial starts Monday at Belair Community Center

POSTED: 09/27/12 12:04 PM

St. Maarten – The Vesuvius trial will begin on Monday morning at the Belair Community Center where the Court in First Instance will hold a session under the presidency of Judge mr. Harry Smid. The prosecution will ask on Monday for a postponement for two weeks, Chief Prosecutor mr. Hans Mos told this newspaper yesterday. The court will start dealing with all charges on Monday October 15.

The Vesuvius trial deals with the deadly results of a violent war between two drug gangs that started with the murder of Amador Jones on April 16 of last year. The murders of Hector Miguel and Rodolfo Arrindell followed on May 25 and July 7 respectively; Kevin Gumbs and Eric Lake were killed on August 17, there is also a charge for attempted manslaughter on a woman who was a random bystander during these two murders on Illidge Road. The eight defendants are also accused of membership of a criminal organization, lead by Adin Omar Wladimir J., the brother of Amador Jones.

The members of the gang led by Omar J. (34 years of age) are or were Carlos Alfonso R. (29), Erno Desmond Wycliff L. (29), Andrew Selvin D. (30), Ekron Sylvan Collin M. (34), Charles Edmond F. (36), D.D. Th. and the late A.C. (Anthony) Whyte.

Sheldon Thomas was shot to death on the Cakehouse Road on August 19, and this murder is thought to be linked to the gang war as well. Anthony Whyte was shot in his Dutch Quarter home on September 18 of last year.

Five of the seven gang members that are still alive are from St. Maarten, one is from Jamaica, and one is from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Apart from the murders, the attempted manslaughter on August 17 and membership of a criminal organization, the prosecution also charges the gang members with drugs trafficking and with attempted manslaughter on April 20 of last year in Dutch Quarter on Kennedy Fergus and Omax Bye whom they suspected to be the killers of Amador Jones.

Gang leader Omar J. was furthermore charged with weapons possession. In a separate summons, the prosecution detailed that this defendant has two revolvers in his possession (a 9 mm Arminus and a 0.38 caliber Taurus SPL), a 5.56 mm semi automatic PWA Milan IL rifle model Commando, two 12-gauge hunting rifles (a Remington 1100 6KV5 and a Winchester Stainless Marine, as well as a .22 caliber Springfield Armory mod. 1963 rifle.

The defendants appeared for the first time in court on June 6. That day, the trial was postponed until October to give defense attorneys the opportunity to hear witnesses at the judge of instruction.

The trial was moved from the courthouse in Philipsburg for security reasons to the Belair Community Center.

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