PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance found suspect T.K.F. (44) guilty of stabbing Derrick Wilson (27) to death after an argument at Sunshine supermarket in St. Peters on November 18, 2017. The Judge, however, did not impose a sentence, as the suspect, also known as “Bubba,” was dismissed from all prosecution.
Three weeks ago, the Prosecutor’s Office demanded a prison sentence of 12 years against the suspect, who is well-known to the police. He served as a member of the Volunteer Corps of St. Maarten VKS for several years. He was relieved of duty in 2014 after mistreating an elderly woman in the same St. Peters area.
According to the Prosecutor, the suspect should have been held fully accountable for the stabbing. “After all, a young man’s life was brutally terminated due to his actions,” the Prosecutor stated during the September 26 Court hearing. The victim leaves behind a nine-year-old daughter and a grieving mother and sister.
Wilson died on the spot in this case which was called “Manchineel” by the police. The suspect departed the scene of the crime, leaving the victim bleeding to death on the street. T.K.F. was also injured during the incident and had to be taken to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for treatment.
The suspect had an altercation with another man at the supermarket. Wilson interfered and engaged in a discussion with T.K.F.. At a certain moment, Wilson took a wheel wrench from the trunk of his car and threateningly walked up to the defendant.
According to a witness, the defendant was calm and quiet, whereas Wilson was verbally aggressive, grabbed the defendant and started a fight.
After the fight it emerged that the suspect sustained wounds to his chest and hand, whereas Wilson was stabbed twice in his upper arm and once in his chest and side. According to an autopsy, Wilson was killed when the main artery in his arm was hit.
The Court considered it proven that Wilson was armed with a knife and that F. was unarmed. The latter had said that he felt he was stabbed in his chest. He tried to ward off the attack and managed to take the knife from his assailant’s hands and had stabbed him once.
The suspect was arrested shortly after the stabbing at his home at Genip Road after the police had followed a blood trail which led the officers to the defendant. He was sitting with a piece of cloth around his hand which was soaked in blood. “It was self-defence,” he had told the police.
Based on all aspects in this case, the Judge said in the verdict she had arrived at the conclusion that the defendant was guilty of manslaughter.
Defence lawyer Zylena Bary had pleaded self-defence. The self-defence plea was rejected as the Court found that the suspect had acted disproportionally in stabbing the victim several times while he was unarmed.
The Court, however, did find the excessive use of self-defence proven, as the defendant had exceeded the limits of a necessary defence as the immediate result of a violent agitation caused by the fact that he was attacked.
The Judge found it proven that the defendant had been the victim of Wilson’s aggression several times within a short period of time. He was threatened, stabbed and injured in the early stages of the altercation, after which he had retaliated in fear for his own safety, the Court reasoned. Therefore, the Court decided to dismiss F. from all prosecution.