PHILIPSBURG–The Prosecutor’s Office called for a prison sentence of eighteen years and execution of a suspended sentence for a 31-year-old man for premeditated attempted murder. J.O.M. is suspected of being the man on a motorcycle who fired nine gunshots at the car in which his ex-girlfriend was sitting with three other persons in Belvedere during the evening hours of September 25, 2018.
The Prosecutor’s Office is holding J.O.M. responsible for emptying a firearm while shooting at the SUV with four persons inside. The vehicle in question was damaged, but no one in the vehicle suffered any injuries.
Nine empty shells were found at the scene of the crime, but these did not match the firearm that was found during a search of J.O.M.’s house after he was arrested on October 28, 2018.
The Prosecutor believes the defendant had more than one firearm and that he hid or discarded the weapon with which the shots were fired.
The suspect denied he was the shooter and his lawyer Zylena Bary pleaded with the Court for his acquittal for lack of legal and convincing evidence.
She said her client could be convicted of possession of an illegal firearm, “but that should not warrant a prison sentence of long duration.” The lawyer called the Prosecutor’s demand of 18 years “disproportionate and ridiculous.”
Bary also called on the Court to declare the Prosecutor’s case against her client inadmissible, as there was no “reasonable suspicion of guilt” when his premises were searched.
The Judge, who will give his decision on April 24, said there were indications that J.O.M. may have been the shooter, considering his past.
The Parole Board painted a pessimistic report about the defendant’s life, saw few opportunities to assist him and suggested imposing a restraining order banning him from seeking contact with his former partner.
An examining psychologist suggested drugs rehabilitation and aggression replacement training, describing the defendant as a “very angry person” with many problems in his life which he does not handle well.
The defendant was sentenced last year to 162 days suspended. The Prosecutor asked the Judge for execution of the sentence, as the shooting took place within the probation period of two years.
The Prosecutor also called on the Court to award damages in connection with the damaged vehicle to the tune of US $2,494.
He found the suspect guilty of premeditated attempted murder. “He could not accept that his relationship with his former partner was over. He ignored a restraining order and threatened her with her life,” the Prosecutor said.
“Where is the bad man,” the suspect allegedly shouted before shooting at the car, knowing it was carrying his ex-partner and three passengers. Therefore, the Prosecutor found triple attempted murder proven, as well as possession of two firearms with ammunition, and destruction of a vehicle.
J.O.M. was sentenced to six years in 2012 for attempted manslaughter, but his lawyer said the Prosecutor was using the previous case as some kind of springboard. “But that is not how our legal system works,” Bary stated.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/86732-eighteen-years-asked-for-attempted-murder