PHILIPSBURG–The Joint Court of Justice on Thursday freed from all prosecution a man who had clubbed one of his neighbours to death with a metal pipe.
The Court of First Instance had sentenced L.F.J. (28) to seven years for manslaughter on November 12, 2014, and Solicitor-General Taco Stein had recommended during the October 8 appeal hearing that the Court uphold the verdict.
J. clubbed Howard Davis to death with a metal pipe on the morning of June 5, 2014. However, the Appeals Court did not find it proven that J. had had the intention to kill or had made any premeditated plans to kill the victim, but did find it proven that J. had deliberately hit his victim on the head several times.
This meant he “willingly and knowingly” had taken the risk that the victim would die due to his injuries. This led the Court to consider manslaughter proven.
The Court took into account that the fatal incident had followed a number of incidents between J. and the victim’s daughter, the latest of which had occurred in the morning hours of that fatal day.
After the incident, the victim went to the yard of J.’s grandmother’s residence where J. was also residing. At a certain moment, Davis used a machete to hit J. on the head, which had caused a bleeding wound. Then J. picked up a metal pipe and forcefully hit the victim a number of times on his head.
The Joint Court found self-defence proven, in the sense that J. had been under attack and therefore was entitled to defend himself. However, his retaliation had been out of proportion, it was added.
Taking into consideration that the nature of the attack, his injuries and the feelings caused by the altercation, which took place in his own yard, had led to excessively strong and intense emotions, the Appeals Court did not find J. punishable for his acts. He was discharged from prosecution and the Court ordered his pre-trial detention to be lifted.
Source: The Daily Herald Man who clubbed neighbour to death freed from prosecution