PHILIPSBURG–Immediately after the Judge in the Court of First Instance declared Joceidy Martin Grell (21) guilty of having stabbed a man to death in Dutch Quarter on December 5, 2017, for which he was sentenced to twelve years in prison, detectives took him away, as the Court had also ordered his immediate detention.
The defendant and his parents, who were also present, were clearly shocked when the police escorted Grell, who was impeccably dressed in a grey suit, immediately to the Pointe Blanch prison.
His attorney Sjamira Roseburg was not amused. She had pleaded with the Court to acquit her client of murder and manslaughter charges and to dismiss her client from all prosecution, as he had acted in self-defence.
“This is incomprehensible,” she said. She immediately filed for appeal against the verdict and against the Court’s order to lift the suspension of the defendant’s pre-trial detention.
Grell’s pre-trial detention was lifted after a late-March re-enactment of the incident, which took place a parking spot near Madrid Lane, had given indications that Grell had acted in self-defence. According to Roseburg, the re-enactment had made it sufficiently clear that her client had acted in self-defence.
However, Grell’s incarceration should not have come as a total surprise, as the Judge had already given him fair warning during a pro-forma hearing in June when the Judge extended the suspension of Grell’s pre-trial detention until the August 28 Court hearing. From that moment he could be taken into custody again, as the prosecutor requested to reinstate the defendant’s detention. The Judge, however, did not make an immediate decision on the request at that time.
Grell was taken into custody immediately after the fatal stabbing. He was released from pre-trial detention on March 21, after the re-enactment.
The Judge stated in the verdict that the suspension of the defendant’s pre-trial detention was motivated by caution regarding the expected outcome of the re-enactment.
“In view of the current judgement about self-defence, caution is no longer an issue. Given the seriousness of the fact that the defendant is convicted by this judgment, it would not be possible to explain to society that the defendant would be able to await his possible appeal in freedom,” the Judge stated in the verdict.
Grell was still a free man when he heard the Judge declare him guilty of stabbing the victim T.R.S. Chumney to death. The victim sustained 10 stab-wounds all over his body, seven of which were inflicted to his backside. Three of the wounds were fatal.
The defendant initially was charged with murder and manslaughter, but after the hearing the prosecutor said he only found proven the infliction of severe bodily harm which had led to the victim’s death. The prosecutor rejected claims that the defendant had acted in self-defence.
The Judge also did not find murder or manslaughter proven, but found it proven that the suspect had deliberately stabbed the victim a number of times, which had caused the victim’s death.
The Court dismissed self-defence pleadings as there is no evidence that the defendant had responded to an attack with a knife.
According to the Judge, elements could be found in the case file that contradict the defendant’s scenario, such as the nature of the wounds and the fact that the defendant had not sustained any wounds in warding off his attacker.
An expert also did not consider it very likely that the defendant could have taken the knife from his attacker by using a judo technique. Even if this were true, the defendant could have fled and should have discarded the knife, the Judge said.
The defendant said he could not remember having stabbed the victim 10 times and claimed he had had a blackout.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/80806-dutch-quarter-stabber-found-guilty-detained-immediately