Suspects claim innocence on Day 2 of Oro Diamante trial

CAY HILL–The Oro Diamante robbery case continued on Thursday morning at the heavily guarded Belair Community Centre, which served as a temporary Courthouse on Wednesday for security reasons.

The prosecution requested a prison sentence of four years for suspect O.A.C. (34), a taxi driver known as “Brat,” who provided video footage to the main suspect Kilo Gotti of the jewellery store Oro Diamante, and five years in prison for M.H.A. (35), who provided the hammer and the change of clothes used by Gotti in the robbery.

Brat’s involvement started months prior to the August 5 robbery when he picked up a girl known as Shadira Rombley to go to Oro Diamante to film what was inside the store. When she arrived at the store one of the employees told her it was not allowed and she left and stepped into Brat’s taxi. The owner found the move suspicious and reported the incident to the police immediately.

According to Rombley, Brat told her to film it with his phone and if she were caught by police, to say she was filming for her five-year-old daughter’s godfather who planned to buy the child a birthstone. The day of the robbery, Rombley called Brat and asked whether he had anything to do with the robbery and he replied, “No somebody else got to it before we got to do anything,”

Brat denied this in court and had a different story. According to him, he had nothing to do with the robbery and the footage was for him to pick a birthstone for his goddaughter. He denied telling Rombley he wanted to rob the store. He said he had nothing to do with the incident.

However, the Judge presented some facts to Brat that had him speechless. Phone records showed that the main suspect Kilo Gotti had called him three times on the day before the robbery and 10 times on the day of the robbery. The Judge asked why Rombley had to be secretive to film the store and why Brat had not ended up buying the birthstone.

Brat replied that he had had to buy parts for his vehicle and he had not liked the way the Oro Diamante employee had told Rombley not to film the store.

Prosecutor Karola van Nie said Brat had had a huge role to play in the robbery and should be held liable also for the robbery.

The case of M.H.A. (35), who lives with his father in an apartment complex they own, was a bit confusing for the judge as the suspect continuously changed his story. Phone records showed that Kilo Gotti had called the suspect multiple times. The hammer used to smash the window case in the store belonged to M.H.A. and was given to Gotti the day of the incident.

The Prosecutor also believes that Gotti and the suspect staked out the store before the robbery took place and video footage shows the suspect driving in the Philipsburg area on the day of the robbery. He told the Judge that he had not given the hammer to Gotti, but in a statement to police he said he had given the hammer, but had not known what Gotti was planning to do with it.

In another statement to police M.H.A. refused to answer the question about it and said the hammer belonged to his father and he did not know what had happened to it. A gun clip was found in a search of the suspect’s bedroom; he told the Judge he did not recall how it got there. He said he should not be held responsible for somebody else’s actions.

Prosecutor Van Nie said M.H.A. should take responsibility for the part he played in the robbery, but he maintained his innocence during the entire trial on Thursday.

The sentencing of all four suspects will take place on May 4 at 10:00am.

Source: Daily Herald Suspects claim innocence on Day 2 of Oro Diamante trial