PHILIPSBURG–A man was sentenced to five years on Thursday for stabbing his former brother-in-law several times in the vicinity of La China Bar and Restaurant on A.Th. Illidge Road on March 31, 2018.
The Prosecutor’s Office, which had called for seven years, considered attempted murder proven, as defendant Fabien Jimenez Felipe (28), after an altercation with the victim, had gone to his nearby home to pick up a kitchen knife after which he returned to the bar where he stabbed the victim without warning.
In pointing out that the victim had sustained three stab wounds in the abdomen with a depth of approximately three centimetres, the Prosecutor said there was sufficient evidence to consider attempted murder and weapon possession on the public road proven.
Attorney-at-law Geert Hatzmann qualified the late-night stabbing as attempted manslaughter and recommended a prison sentence of two years in combination with community service, aggression replacement training (ART) and possibly a fine or compensation to the victim.
The court acquitted the defendant, who was not present to hear the verdict, of the primary charge of attempted murder for lack of convincing legal evidence, but found attempted manslaughter proven.
The judge, in the verdict, found it likely that after the first confrontation the suspect had become so angry that he had gone to fetch a knife to stab the victim in an outburst of emotion.
The defendant, who fled the scene after the incident but voluntarily turned himself in at the police station later, said he had not had the intention to kill after he was confronted by his ex-wife, her new boyfriend and her brother. He said his ex-brother-in-law had beaten him up, which had made him angry and agitated.
However, he admitted that he had gone home after the first confrontation to pick up the knife with which he had stabbed the victim three times in his abdomen.
If someone stabs another person several times in the belly it cannot be otherwise than he knowingly and willingly accepts the considerable chance that his victim will die, the judge said in finding attempted manslaughter proven. He also said it was not due to the suspect that the victim had not succumbed to his injuries.
A conditional sentence, in combination with community service, as recommended by the defence, was rejected by the court as this would not do justice to the proven crime.
The Judge considered a five-year prison sentence warranted, despite the defendant’s claim that in the meantime he and the victim were on speaking terms again.
As the defendant is currently not detained, the prosecutor had called on the court to lift the suspension of the suspect’s preliminary detention in case of a conviction. The court did not find sufficient grounds to grant this request.
The judge said that the seriousness of the crime has “undoubtedly” shocked the rule of law, but resumption of the pre-trial detention after a one-year suspension was not appropriate under otherwise unchanged circumstances.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87102-five-years-for-near-fatal-stabbing-at-la-china-bar