PHILIPSBURG–Jason Omar Margarita (32) has appealed his fifteen-year sentence and payment of US $2,492 in compensation for firing nine gunshots at the car in which his ex-girlfriend was sitting with three other persons near Anna’s Hoop Estate Road in Belvedere, during the evening hours of September 25, 2018.
On April 24, the Judge also ordered the execution of a suspended sentence of 162 days for a previous crime. During the April 10 hearing in this case, the Prosecutor’s Office had called for a prison sentence of 18 years and execution of the suspended sentence for premeditated attempted murder.
The Judge in the Court of First Instance did not find premeditation proven in this case, which stemmed from long-term animosity between the suspect and the victim, apparently the result of Margarita’s resentment about the love relationship of three months between the two, which had ended in April 2017.
Previously, the suspect had made death threats against his ex-partner, for which he was convicted in a court of law. However, despite the fact that the suspect had been on the phone with the victim shortly before the shooting, the lower court Judge did not find attempted premeditated murder proven.
The telephone conversation had an unpleasant tone, but did not contain any death threats, the Judge stated in the verdict. The defendant had denied any involvement in the incident and had thus not given any insight into his emotions, thoughts and motives. Therefore, it could not be excluded that he had acted in an instantaneous flare-up of emotions, the Judge said in finding insufficient evidence to consider premeditation proven.
However, the Court found enough evidence to consider attempted manslaughter and possession of an illegal firearm with nine rounds of ammunition proven. The Court also found it proven that the defendant had damaged a vehicle.
On October 28, 2018, suspect Margarita, also known as “Bado,” was arrested in the “Sunrise” investigation at Sea Breeze Hotel in Cay Hill. During a body search a black/brown Taurus G2g nine-millimetre pistol was found on him.
“The suspect seems to have acted out of jealousy. His way of dealing with this emotion is completely unacceptable. The suspect was previously convicted of a violent crime against the complainant. With the facts for which he is convicted in this judgment, the defendant has demonstrated that he poses a great danger to the safety of others. The psychological report, and in particular the probation report, provide a worrying and not very hopeful picture of the suspect’s future,” the Judge in the Court of First Instance said in considering a prison term of long duration warranted.
In sentencing, the Judge considered that in addition to destruction and possession of firearms, the suspect was also guilty of three attempted manslaughters.
Margarita had filed for appeal and his lawyer Zylena Bary filed requests for the hearing of several witnesses, during Tuesday’s preliminary hearing.
However, the Court of Appeals rejected requests to once again hear the defendant’s ex-girlfriend and several other witnesses. Also, the request for a report about Margarita’s motorcycle, from which he reportedly had fired the shots, was turned down.
The proceedings in this case are to continue with a pro-forma hearing on December 4. The actual appeal hearing will take place early 2020.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/90566-suspect-files-for-appeal-in-triple-manslaughter-case