PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance, on Wednesday, postponed the trial of a 21-year-old suspect accused of having stabbed a man to death in Dutch Quarter on December 5, 2017. The case against J.M.G. was postponed because his lawyer is among those on strike for payment of their pro-bono services. A new trial date was set for August 28.
Upon the request of his attorney, the defendant’s pre-trial detention has been suspended since March 22. According to the Prosecutor, it could, however, not be tolerated that considering the severity of the charges, the suspect would remain a free man for five months until the August hearing.
“This cannot be explained,” the Prosecutor said pointing out that the killing was committed before the eyes of local residents.
Without his lawyer present, G. said he wanted the case dealt with. “I was just protecting myself,” he said, in stating that he was not of the opinion that he should be detained.
The Court said that not much had changed in the consideration whether the defendant should be able to await his trial a free man or not. In his decision, the Judge also took into account that it was not the suspect’s fault that the handling of his case was delayed by two months, and that this should not be held against him.
Therefore, the Judge extended the suspension of G.’s pre-trial detention until August 28, at 2:00pm. From that moment he could be taken into custody again, in case the Prosecutor’s Office would demand this, and the Court would grant the request. “So, bring your toothbrush, I would say,” the Judge said in warning the suspect.
The stabbing victim passed away hours after he was admitted to St. Maarten Medical Center’s Emergency Room.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the victim sustained no fewer than 10 stabbing wounds all over his body. Therefore, the Prosecution will be requesting a conviction on murder or manslaughter charges.
The Prosecutor said Wednesday the victim’s mother had lost her son and his pregnant girlfriend the father of her child in this “gruesome murder.” The defendant will be pleading self-defence.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77841-judge-recommends-murder-suspect-to-bring-toothbrush