Two suspects on trial for 11 armed robberies

PHILIPSBURG–Suspects O.T.G. (27) and K.P. (24) will have to answer to eleven charges of armed robbery. The Court of First Instance on Wednesday set the date for their trial for Thursday, May 18.

The Prosecutor’s Office is holding the two responsible for having committed a string of 11 armed robberies, mainly at Chinese supermarkets, between July 27, 2016, and October 18, 2016.

During the robberies, the culprits made away with US $8,210 in total. Among targets were Chinese restaurant Old Tree Peking Seafood, supermarket Wang Jiao, Fresh Pond supermarket, Premier supermarket, Wah Yun supermarket, Well Luck supermarket, Texaco Star Mart, Quality Foods supermarket. Best Food supermarket, Subway restaurant on W. Nisbeth Road, and Welcome supermarket.

The Prosecutor explained that the defendants are suspected of having committed even more robberies – 29 in total – but only 11 of these are mentioned in the indictments. They were also charged with illegal firearm possession between July and October 2016.

Attorney-at-law Shaira Bommel requested all video-surveillance camera images collected as evidence in her client O.T.G.’s case during Wednesday’s pro-forma hearing.

One day after Tuesday evening’s decision by the Joint Court on the Prosecutor’s Office’s appeal to remand the suspect into custody, the lawyer made a new attempt to get her client out of jail.

Bommel said her client denied involvement in the robberies. The first offender spent six weeks in pre-trial detention.

During the past 10 days as a free man he had been able to work several days in providing for his little child. The lawyer said her client considered himself lucky in retaining his job.

The Prosecutor objected to release. He said that DNA-testing results were still forthcoming. These are expected to provide suspect’s DNA.

G. said he is no criminal. “I am a hardworking man from Jamaica. I take care for my daughter. If I took part in robberies, where is all the money? You can check my bank account,” he told the Judge.

The Judge turned down the request to suspend G.’s pre-trial detention as he is accused of having committed serious crimes. The objections against release weighed more heavily than the defendant’s personal circumstances, the Judge said.

Source: The Daily Herald