Serious prison time for Budget Marine robbers

PHILIPSBURG–Three men suspected of involvement in the armed robbery at Budget Marine on Waterfront Road on October 19, 2016, were sentenced Thursday to prison terms of 42 and 36 months for the roles they played in this crime.

The Prosecutor’s Office also held the three responsible for planning the robbery, Prosecutor Danny Hazejager said during last month’s hearing in this case.

The Judge in the Court of First Instance found it legally and convincingly proven that Cennieke John “Sonic” Charles (22), Yohan “Kiki” Jansen (21) and Kendy Pierre (24) had staged the robbery.

The men drove to Budget Marine in Cole Bay in a white Suzuki Vitara. Two men stepped out of the car and walked into the store. One threatened the personnel with a firearm or a device that looked like a real firearm, while the other took US $670 and several blue cash deposit bags.

The Court found it legally and convincingly proven that the three men had committed the armed robbery based on video footage of the robbery, statements of the suspects, data on phones confiscated during a search at Pierre’s house, and DNA recovered from clothes that were found in the back of the getaway car.

All three were convicted of armed robbery and illegal firearm possession. They were acquitted of car theft, as it could not be ascertained that the Suzuki which was used as a getaway car in the robbery was actually stolen.

The Prosecutor had called for prison sentences of 48 months, six of which were to be suspended, for both Jansen and Charles. The Court, however, imposed fully unconditional sentences of 42 months for both defendants, who were convicted of armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm.

The Judge held it against the two that they had not opened up about their involvement in the alleged crimes and had not given any indication that they understood the reprehensibility of their acts, the Judge stated.

Pierre, who was the driver of the getaway car, was also found guilty of armed robbery and illegal firearm possession. He was sentenced according to the Prosecutor’s demand to 36 months.

In following the Prosecutor, the Court also took into consideration that Charles had cooperated in the investigation.

Source: The Daily Herald