Pictured: Dante Ottley (bottom) and Stevevanus Richardson (top) have to spend 20 and 18 years in prison, respectively.
PHILIPSBURG—More than five months after Dante Ottley (then 27) and Stevevanus Richardson (then 23), both responsible for the 2018 El Capitan shooting of Manuel Gomez Lopez (28), fled the country to avoid going to jail, they have been caught. The two were arrested in Fulton County, Georgia.
On March 31, Ottley and Richardson were sentenced in absentia to twenty and eighteen years, respectively, for manslaughter. They had both been acquitted by the Court of First Instance for having shot in self-defense.
During the hearing of the case on appeal, the attorney general had asked the Court to order, in the event of a conviction, that the prison sentence should take effect immediately. On Thursday at 1:45pm, the verdicts were read before the victim’s family; the suspects had not appeared.
United States law enforcement made the arrest on the request of the Office of the Attorney General of Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba. Following extradition proceedings, convicts Ottley and Richardson will be transported to St. Maarten to sit their unconditional sentences. Extradition proceedings are expected to take two to three months.
The assailants first fled right after the shooting on New Year’s Eve 2018, on the parking lot of adult entertainment club El Capitan. Camera images from the El Capitan parking lot show that Gomez ran away and was almost immediately shot four times by Ottley. Co-perpetrator Richardson then took two steps forward and shot Gomez twice.
The court found, after studying closed-circuit TV (CCTV) camera footage, that Gomez’s friend W. James, who was with Gomez in El Capitan that New Year’s Eve, immediately ran away at the moment Gomez was shot.
It was observed that Ottley turned around and, walking behind James, shot at him once. Richardson then also turned around towards James and shot James eight times.
James survived the attempt on his life because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Although acquitted of manslaughter by the Court of First Instance for killing Gomez, the shooters were found guilty of gun possession and sentenced 21 months in prison, six months of which are suspended, on three years’ probation. They had already sat out that sentence.
On April 4, four days after the Appellate Court ordered the immediate incarceration of Ottley and Richardson they were officially fugitives. They have been sought by justice authorities ever since, the Prosecutor’s office stated in a release to the media.
The search was first by the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM with international authorities on the alert for the fugitives. The Prosecutor’s office OM SXM will oversee the execution of the sentences of the two convicts.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/fugitive-el-capitan-shooting-convicts-arrested-in-georgia-united-states