PHILIPSBURG–The Judge in the Court of First Instance on Wednesday reopened the investigation in the case against R.B. (24), who is suspected of involvement in the violent death of Alejandro “Ali” Hodge.
Hodge was stabbed to death on September 1, 2016, near the Delta Petroleum gas station in Dutch Quarter.
The case was heard on June 7, during which the Prosecutor’s Office demanded a 12-year prison sentence against R.B., who is held responsible for Hodge’s death. The suspect denied the allegations.
The Court was to present its decision in this case on Wednesday, but learned from the Prosecutor’s Office that a possible eyewitness to the fatal stabbing was recently found to be on the island.
In the earlier stages of the investigation, the Court had considered it crucial for the witness to be heard in Court. However, when the witness proved not to be found the investigations continued and the case was closed.
Following the new information as provided by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Court found sufficient grounds to reopen the case. The witness will now be heard by an Investigating Judge.
Attorney Safira Ibrahim claimed during the June 7 hearing that her client’s alibi could not be verified because the exact time of the incident could not be established. She said calls to the 911 emergency number could not be retrieved.
In questioning the accuracy of the witness’ statement, the lawyer stated that her client’s clothing did not match those described by witnesses. The lawyer also pointed out that the murder weapon was not found, and that no blood or her client’s DNA was found on the knife in the ditch where the victim’s body was found. The Court hearing in this case was rescheduled for Wednesday, August 9.